Josh Wolk
July 30, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

New Bedlam

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Bill Flanagan
publisher
Penguin
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B-

When TV programming exec Bobby Kahn is fired from his cushy network job, he desperately accepts a gig at a Rhode Island cable company run by a dysfunctional local clan. Bill Flanagan, an MTV exec and author of the record-biz satire A&R, captures the mind-set of a slick exec who thinks the best way to get people to watch a Shakespeare marathon is to load it with cheap promotional videos from Leonardo DiCaprio’s Romeo + Juliet. The meandering plot doesn’t always ring true, but the point of view does, which is also a problem: New Bedlam reads like an unapologetic position paper on how to make shallow television. B-

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