The Psycho Ex Game

A Novel

Publisher: Villard
Lisa Roberty is a successful screenwriter with an impoverished social life who’s enduring a demoralizing job at the mind-numbing sitcom You Go, Girl. Grant Repka is an obscure indie rock musician who, in his forties, finds his career surprisingly resurrected with the success of his comic operetta about the doomed romance of Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson. When Grant and Lisa meet after one of his shows, sparks don’t immediately fly—but e-mail addresses are exchanged. A my-book-for-your-CD trade and a couple of e-mails later, Lisa tells Grant that she enjoys his song “My Psycho Ex,” but warns him that where psycho-exes are concerned, she’s pretty sure she “could drink him under the table.”

Little does she know that this will become the opening salvo in an epic e-mail battle dubbed the Psycho Ex Game, a storytelling competition in which horrific tales of dysfunctional love and living with lunatics are volleyed with glee. The rules are simple; the point system, unique: the experiences that would normally leave someone running for the therapist’s office (humiliation, degradation, and complicity in psychotic behavior) just might win match point in the Psycho Ex Game. Now it’s Grant vs. Lisa as the wretched tales of his ex, the Junkie Queen of Darkness, vie with the woe inflicted by her ex, a tantrum-throwing actor/director widely known as Mr. Summer Box Office Record-Holder.

As the correspondence evolves, it surprises Lisa by offering her the kind of intimacy she has never shared with a man in the same room. Before long, what started as a friendly competition becomes a road map to an unlikely couple’s growing involvement, leaving both Grant and Lisa secretly wondering, “If we were to get involved, which one of us is potentially the next Psycho Ex?”

Written in alternating he said/she said chapters, The Psycho Ex Game is shot through with the acerbic humor of Merrill Markoe and the mordant observations that have made Andy Prieboy a literate voice in rock. The Psycho Ex Game is a hilarious dissection of injuries sustained on the front lines of romance—and the careful nursing that gets us battleready once again.


From the Hardcover edition.

READ AN EXCERPT

Chapter 1

LISA

When I went out to the driveway to pick up the paper, a Starline Tours bus pulled up.

"This is Nick Blake's house," I could hear a nasal tour guide say into a primitive bus microphone. "Looks like we're in luck, folks. I believe the woman in the driveway is his girlfriend...
Read More

PRAISE FOR

"Unique, darkly funny and ruthlessly revealing, The Psycho Ex Game is like a rock and roll 'He Said, She Said.' Markoe and Prieboy are like a f---ed-up Tracy and Hepburn.  A love story for anyone who ever wrecked his or her own love story." 
-Michael Patrick King, Executive Producer, Sex and the City

“I picked up this book for a casual glance, and read the first paragraph. Read the second paragraph. Kept reading until the end, with occasional bathroom breaks. This book is wonderful. The wit, the hilarity and the amazing story captured my brain. Help!”
-Cynthia Heimel

"Anyone familiar with her writing for television already knows that Merrill Markoe is one of the great comedic voices of her generation; acerbic, ironic, cynical and sweet, she's been a hero of mine since I was in junior high. Those lucky enough to have caught his now-classic show White Trash Wins Lotto already know the angry, sardonic brilliance of Andy Prieboy. In this new comic novel -- rich, complex, layered, epic, pissed off, hilarious, heartbroken, and hip as hell -- never have either of their voices been funnier, darker, or more hopeful. This is an incredible story."
-Todd Hanson, Writer, The Onion, America's Finest News Source


From the Hardcover edition.