Imagine having your worst moments caught on film, and your best moments edited out. When he was five years old Gerald Faust’s mother auditioned the family for Network Nanny, a reality tv show. In one-hour on network TV, Gerald became a national phenomenon for taking a dump on the family’s kitchen table. Twelve years later, Gerald is still haunted by the actions of his five-year-old-self. Ostracized at school, bullied by his older sister and left alone by his parents, Gerald attempts to control his anger through boxing workouts and trips to Gersday (an imaginary land where everything is made of ice cream and all things go his way). Gerald meets Hannah, a troubled writer who he knows is trouble, but Gerald cannot resist the possibility of making a connection with someone. Gerald and Hannah share their lives, through flashbacks to Gerald’s days on Network Nanny, and the two decide to run away and join the circus, a goal they realize is childish and most likely pointless, but they mean to make a point. They won’t take this crap anymore.
Fans of A.S. King get exactly what they want, well rounded characters, a unique story and magical realism. It is a hard sell to readers, but worth every minute spent inside the pages.