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Tossed Off the Edge

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Tossed Off the Edge

Book information

Full Title
Tossed Off the Edge
Format
  • eBook
  • Paperback
Rated for Readers
Rated PG-13 (questionable content for children under 13)

Book Description

Indie author Patrick Brown has released his second book Tossed Off the Edge, a clever and hilarious sendup of the celebrity tell-all genre.

The soap opera known as The Edge of Conflict has been keeping viewers tuned in every afternoon since 1970. The show was centered on the exploits and troubles of the very rich Knight Family of Hillvale. At the heart of this long-running drama is Regina, played by soap diva Sheila Wozniak, who grew from troubled teen to matriarch over the decades. Wozniak has won many awards, and once had an enormous fan base.

However, as times have changed and soap opera audiences have dwindled, Wozniak found that her influence with the network and the international soap company Poplar & Grindle had waned just like her fan base. Refusing to change along with the show’s producers, she finds that she has been fired. There will be no more Regina, and to make her understand that they no longer want her, her televised funeral turns out to be an on-air cremation. There was no way for her to escape the flames.

With very little acting experience outside of her four-decade role, Sheila Wozniak is unsure what to do next until a publishing house comes calling and asks her to write her memoirs. She is a drinker not a writer; so she hires her favorite former head writer from The Edge of Conflict to ghost write her autobiography.

The fun ensues almost immediately as Ms. Wozniak, ever the dramatic diva, goes into detail about her past. Due to the many years of playing the same character and being a fan of TV herself, she tells her story, leaving the reader entertained but wondering if she really was married to a successful Madison Avenue advertising agent (Bewitched) followed by a marriage to a successful California architect with three sons (The Brady Bunch) or went on a spiritual pilgrimage to Puerto Rico (The Flying Nun). From the book: “Regina Knight Harrison Donavan Taylor Donavan McDonald McDonald Woodward Merriweather Todd’s funeral was held on channel seven at 1:00 p.m. local time in every time zone across the country. If you had ever watched daytime TV between 1970 until her demise, you couldn’t have missed her. She was blond and dramatic, and she had been shot, paralyzed, kidnapped, raped and tortured numerous times. On her better days, she had given or received a number of internal organs, suffered heart attacks and endured a radical mastectomy… In spite of all the difficulties, Regina maintained a strong faith in the power of love. She was a one-man woman in spite of having been married nine times to seven different husbands who got younger and younger as Regina aged.

For readers who thrive on an actor’s conflicts with ungrateful children, they won’t be disappointed since Miss Wozniak is under the impression that Mommie Dearest was intended to be a guide to raising children!

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As reel as it gets – A review of the novel ‘Tossed Off the Edge’
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Is the book engaging / enticing? 
 
5.0
Can you relate to the characters and/or subject matter? 
 
5.0
Can you easily follow the scenes/chapters? Are they descriptive enough? 
 
5.0
Would you recommend this book? 
 
5.0

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” - Oscar Wilde Hollywood, that seemingly far away magical land, the land of opportunities, the land of many dreams has seen the dreams of many fulfilled but for most of the men and women, young and old who land up on the streets with stars in their eyes, Hollywood has been nothing short of a crash course on dealing with the dark side of life. So for a place that offers success and failure in such large amounts, stories of them, about them too will be in plenty. And this is such a story, it might be a different story, it might even be a difficult story to believe in but even if we choose to believe in them or not, all stories need to be heard for there is a storyteller behind these stories, sharing with us the highs and lows, the glory and the sufferings, teaching us, warning us so that we may learn from them. Author Patrick Brown’s second novel, ‘Tossed Off the Edge’ is a finely crafted play on the celebrity tell-all format the literary world is abound with. Without revelling in the fact that it is a faux memoir on a non-existent TV star, the author has crafted a fine fictional story based on a fictional lead all the while challenging the reader’s mind to believe in and invest emotionally on this outlandish and part sympathetic mega television figure. Sheila Wozniak is the person behind the persona of the rags to riches story of the starlet; she has invested four decades of her career into playing Regina Knight, the lead and perhaps the most important character in the day time soap opera ‘The Edge of Conflict’. And after an extended reign at the top, when the show’s and her character’s popularity is on the wane, the television studio fires her. But if there is one thing Ms. Wozniak has successfully mastered after all these years is to always land on her feet and the ability to salvage whatever is left of her career and her image in the public arena. She gets an opportunity from a publishing house to pen her memoir and she employs the former head writer from her old TV show, who is also curiously named Patrick Brown. Thus then begins the narration of a wild and crazy story about an aspiring actress’s struggles, her family and the people who have come into contact with her. And whenever Ms. Wozniak’s narration transcends into the absurd and delusional variety, writer Patrick Brown is always close by with an array of finely researched footnotes to keep Sheila Wozniak’s active imagination in check. In ‘Tossed Off the Edge’ Patrick Brown presents plenty of the nasty behind-the-scenes details of the television world, especially that of day time soap operas and its lead actors. The unreasonable demands of the long serving cast members, the inexplicable story lines churned out by writers, the asinine management by television executives, it’s all there. But don’t get me wrong, it is never presented as to ridicule the format itself, in fact at some levels the author is even kind of in awe of this format and its work ethics. And when you think about it, it is true to a certain extent, when we compare it to the alternatives that are the 24 hour news channels which brings us more depressing news than pleasant ones and the so called un-scripted ‘reality’ television, which is an even bigger farce than anything these soap operas churns out. While it may be fiction, this fiction takes itself very seriously as to adapt many contemporary and socially relevant themes as part of its broadcast. Tossed Off the Edge not only chronicles the made up show's rich history, but it also offers an unpretentious and unapologetic insight into the lead character of Regina Knight played by Sheila Wozniak. Now Ms. Wozniak is everything you imagine her to be and some more, she is extremely self centred but surprisingly never gets truly annoying and all her stories have a hint of fantasy about them. Patrick Brown’s imagination is so vivid and yet appears thoroughly researched that by the end of the book you are sure to hit the search engines searching for Sheila Wozniak and a show called ‘The Edge of Conflict.’ Now even though this book has been written as a humorous play on the tell-all celebrity memoirs, there is quite an emotional depth to the story and it really has a surprising tone of sadness and quiet empathy that you will feel towards this made up character. And at other times Patrick seems to be having a whale of a time taking jabs at our idiosyncrasies, hypocrisies and moral values. The footnotes provided serve a dual function, they not only make you read the book twice but they also end up cracking you up with an astonishing regularity. Tossed Off the Edge is a great excuse to laugh at our many contemporary and contemptible values. And you are bound to fall in love with this character of Sheila Wozniak who is hypocritical and so full of her herself and yet feels so real and like someone you’ve know your entire life. And perhaps this is a reflection on the times we live, because this fake memoir is more fun and real than some of the ‘real’ ones out there in the market today. 

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