Arts & Entertainment

Ecco: HarperCollins. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780062322463. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062322470. F
Eddie has a problem. His wife, Susan, is desperate to get pregnant, which requires a fertility clinic, which requires money, which Eddie doesn't have. What failed actor Eddie does have is an explicit sex tape of his ex-live-in girlfriend, now a wildly popular TV star. Eddie sells the tape for $100,000, and soon it is everywhere, Susan is pregnant (triplets), the source of the tape is discovered, and Eddie is out of his teaching job. Susan evicts her husband with high drama, resulting in the celeb-talk circuit, her own reality show, and being romanced by film star Rex Gilbert. Eddie, not to be left out, calls a 19 year old he met, and soon their "affair" is on reality TV, too. Beha (What Happened to Sophie Wilder) offers both a send-up and a spot-on representation of unreal reality and our celebrity-worshipping culture. Take this: a woman one day throwing eggs at villain Eddie in the street shows up later, differently clad and made up, as his fake girlfriend's fake mother. And you thought reality TV wasn't arced and scripted?
VERDICT Pop culture fans who can survive a slow, talky first chapter are in for a fun ride.

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