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Named a 2022 Who? New! debut novel by the Brooklyn Book Festival, Monkey Business begins when William Fox, a TV writer on location in Florida, is dragged by his show’s toxic producers to a “gentleman's club” that’s just appeared outside town, where he meets Nicole, a mysterious dancer who claims to be an anthropologist searching for signs of rational life on Earth.
Enchanted by her both playful and serious ideas exploring love, limerence, power, monkey behavior, paintball combat, creativity, and the dilemma of a rational mind compelled to serve an animal’s body by feeding it fantasies, Will falls in love – and his ever more troubled love-struck behavior and the acidly destructive battles among his producers and network executives during the production of his show soon begin to illustrate Nicole’s theories.
Nicole is charmingly romantic on a cruise up the Space Coast, but nothing about her seems authentic. After she warns she’ll soon leave, and his producers are humbled by an uncanny encounter with the police, Will begins to wonder, is Nicole staging real world events with him and the producers as her experimental subjects? And if so, can he discover her true identity, learn the lessons she’s trying to teach, and earn her love before he loses her forever?
Praise for MONKEY BUSINESS...
Carl Hiaasen, make way for Carleton Eastlake. Monkey Business is a brash and bawdy hero’s journey—and wicked fun from start to finish.
—JULIA GLASS, National Book Award–winning author of THREE JUNES
Carleton Eastlake has written a raw, jarring, darkly-funny primer and philosophical treatise on navigating the politics of television and lust that’s dressed up as a noir novel about a man driven to near-madness by the Machiavellian mind-games of his bosses and soul-ravaging sex with a mysterious stripper.
—LEE GOLDBERG, New York Times bestselling author and TV producer
I don’t know which I admire more: clever wordplay, amusing textual Easter eggs, a delightfully enigmatic leading woman, or an unabashedly candid self-aware narrator. All these elements combine to make Monkey Business a fascinating read. —CARL GOTTLIEB, author of THE JAWS LOG
One Midsummer Eve, a young, put-upon TV writer meets a fairy queen in the form of a sibylline exotic dancer obsessed with anthropology, the failure of Darwinism, and Chairman Mao. What unfolds is a captivating, clever, Freudian escapade through the vicissitudes of love, power games, paintball, and the irrationality of human behavior. —KAREN ESSEX, author of DRACULA IN LOVE: A NOVEL
"What constitutes the conscious brain? Is subjective love just a mishmash of dopamine and serotonin? What is human existence? Former politico, attorney, and screenwriter Carleton Eastlake’s first novel Monkey Business takes the reader on a wild ride in an attempt to answer these questions and more. This is a fevered dream of a tale; at times a love story, a philosophical treatise on the meaning of being human, a mystery to solve, and a savage expose of the film and television industry’s creative process in the early twenty-first century...It is well worth the read." —DAVID KEENAN - SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW
"Monkey Business is bold, entertaining, and quick-witted. It is a book with so many hidden details that it can be read over and over again. This book will make you change the way you think about humankind." —KRISTI ELIZABETH - MANHATTAN BOOK REVIEW
“‘Inside their heads, humans are caught in a civil war between the little gleam of intelligence they want to believe is them and the animal which that spark of intelligence evolved to serve. Most of the time, the animal wins.’ * * * In Carleton Eastlake’s provocative and sharply written Monkey Business (Red Hen Press), William Fox is caught somewhere in between that civil war — as a writer immersed in the corporate, political and social minutiae that defines the entertainment industry and, in this case, the TV series for which he writes, and for the animal-like attraction, obsession and love he possesses for an erotic dancer. * * * Eastlake is a master of psychology and personality study, bringing readers deep inside Fox, an intelligent man with flaws, driving to come to terms with his own emotions and actions." * * * — JIM ALKON - BOOKTRIB
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Books From Red Hen Press...Red Hen Press is celebrating is its 28th year of publishing works of literary excellence, supporting diversity, and promoting literacy. Click here to take a look.
Books By Loraine Despres...
Since I learned very nearly everything I know from her, you might want to take a look at my best-selling wife's books. Click here to take a look.