Cult comic-novelist Payne, who self-publishes but also has published with Doubleday, offers the fourth in his revoltingly ridiculous Nick Twisp series.
Payne (Youth in Revolt, Doubleday, 1995) has caught on with the Farrelly Brothers (Dumb and Dumber, etc.) and his Frisco Pigeon Mambo (see above) is now in development as an animated film in the teen groove where The Simpsons meet South Park. Background: Payne self-published the first three installments of Youth in Revolt in 1993, having condensed 1,100 pages down to 500 of small but readable type. Doubleday reprinted the trilogy as a hardcover in 1995, enlarging the type by cutting the text by ten percent. Readers who want the complete trade paperback version can contact Aivia Press, or order through a distributor. Is it worth it? Well, teenagers will adore it, and others as well. (And need we mention another lengthy teen series that has caught on?) Who is Nick Twisp? He’s a highfalutin, 14-year-old diarist who writes in a salubriously lofty style about his affair with schoolmate Sheeni Saunders and, for the first three volumes, his eagerness to be deflowered by her. He has divorced himself from his divorced parents after burning down nearly half of Berkeley. Nick’s main foil is poetry-minded Trent Preston, who attracts Sheeni, herself a Francophile given to brilliancies of locution. Reader Warning: We are giving part of the plot away: By the end of book three, Sheeni surrenders, and here she’s a pregnant 15-year-old. Being sought by the FBI, Nick sometimes attends school disguised as a girl, and after plastic surgery, turns himself into Rick S. Hunter, meanwhile having built a fortune and lost it to Sheeni, who still wants Trent.
If this catches on, as it may well, step back and watch self-publishing take off.