Fame, celebrity, reality TV, bestsellers, Twitter-obsessed book bloggers, and really fantastic abs

The author in our studios
The author in our studios 

Los Angeles writer Mark Haskell Smith’s new book, “Raw: A Love Story,” is laugh-out-loud funny–because it’s so right-on about our celebrity-obsessed culture, it hurts.

If it irks you that when the Duck Dynasty guys, say, or actor James Franco attach their names to books they zoom to the top of bestseller lists while “real” writers struggle to get published, this novel is for you.

Smith deftly lampoons the absurdity of fame, publishing, celebrity, reality TV, publishing and our addiction to technology (and six-packs of the ab variety) with this page-turner.

14book"RAW" by Mark Haskell SmithNow, I’m no Michael Silverblatt, and it’s hard to talk about a novel without giving the plot away, but I managed to converse with Smith about “Raw” without revealing the many plot twists and turns.

“I was looking in bookstores, and Snooki has bestselling books, and Lauren Conrad, and all these reality stars,” Smith said. “And the joke was, what if the ghostwriter was Michael Chabon or someone like that? What would happen if people bought these books that were supposed to be horrible, and they were amazingly good? I just riffed on that.”

Take a look at this excerpt, and listen to our conversation here about this naughty and fun bit of social commentary: