Into Hot Air

Chris Elliott, Author, Amy Elliott Andersen, Illustrator
Chris Elliott, Author, Amy Elliott Andersen, Illustrator . Weinstein $23.95 (342p) ISBN 978-1-60286-007-0
Reviewed on: 08/20/2007
Release date: 11/01/2007

Elliot spoofs everything from survival adventures to celebrity charities to his own failed acting career in his goofy second novel. Narrator Chris Elliott's desire to “mount Mount Everest” ignites when he is mysteriously sent the diary of his great-uncle Percy, detailing Percy's failed Everest expedition. Hoping to unravel the mystery of Percy's disappearance, Chris and his best friend Wendell plan a trip up the mountain. Together they head to the Mountain Maniacs headquarters (where the décor is “retro Katrina chic”) and convince climber, bail bondsman and bounty hunter Duncan Carter to lead their expedition. With only pocket change to fund their journey, Chris recruits celebs to participate and underwrite the trek. Quickly in over their heads, the expedition members discover that if the elements don't kill them, Uncle Percy's secrets might. Elliot makes stupidity an art form (“the aircraft was.... constructed entirely out of yeast paste and horse hair”), but beyond the crassness and juvenile humor, there are a few flashes of sharp commentary. The work is more silly than satiric, and since Elliot doesn't take himself too seriously, perhaps the reader shouldn't, either. (Nov.)

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