The Public Hating: A Collection of Short Stories

Steve Allen, Author Dembner Books $9.94 (202p) ISBN 978-0-942637-22-9
These 23 stories by the versatile comedian, songwriter and author include some interesting twists, but most fail to rise above the ordinary. Even his attempts to show the underside of the TV and film milieu he knows so well fall flat. ``One Reason Television Is So Terrible'' is ploddingly dominated by its message that agencies representing writers, actors and others abuse their power to compel networks to produce bad programs. During ``The Interview,'' a famous actress finds that her glittering, packaged life story makes drab reading compared to that of her apparently nondescript interviewer. In ``Everybody Hates David Starbuck,'' a washed-up director commits the perfect murder--even he can't persuade the police he did it. The title story presents a stadium full of people who focus their hatred on a man guilty of treason, collectively murdering him in a blood-lusty yet bloodless execution. ``Joe Shulman Is Dead,'' a particularly sentimental tale, notes how often we fail to appreciate our friends while they're alive. ``The Blood of the Lamb'' features a religious extremist who believes that an airplane bomb threat is a surefire way of helping people get religion. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
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