Hank and Larry are performance artists in San Francisco's underground performance art scene. But when the mind-numbing grind of their corporate jobs drives them over the edge, they plot the ultimate revenge: to kidnap their company’s billionaire CEO and brainwash him into becoming a manic performance artist.
Fueled by the author's performance art background, Two Performance Artists is a screwball dark comedy about best friends determined to tackle the American Dream with fish guts, duct tape, and a sticky AK-47.
Two Performance Artists is the first performance art novel by a working performance artist, tackling themes like fame, narcissism, and criticism, which are all timely in our "watch me!" age of reality TV, Instagram, and YouTube.
A first-round finalist in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest, the book straddles several genres—it's a madcap adventure, a pulpy action novel, a caper comedy, and a "bromance" for sure. One early reviewer called it "Office Space meets Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas meets Jackass."
Computer programmers by day, performance artists by night, Larry and Hank live out an alt-com dream in Wichmann's bright and capacious fiction debut. They meet at a seedy club in San Francisco's Tenderloin district and immediately become pals; Hank has a passionate "Performance Art Manifesto" and Larry buys in. The only obstacles to bromantic adventure are Hank's nagging wife, Sherry, and real life, which demands that the duo make a living. They get mind-numbingly boring jobs at a multinational company called Redsoft, run by software mogul Bill Kuntsler. Performance art falls short as the tonic to their boredom, and they begin acting out at work, where Larry finds something like love with a quirky girl called Mouse. The same craving that fuels the duo's performance art pieces seems to drive their madcap plan to kidnap Kuntsler. Captivity, however, brings its own set of problems, as the chaos, danger, absurdity, and insanity keep ratcheting up. The book's most entertaining episodes are on trivia, Larry's family, their performance art, etc. Wichmann's shaggy novel may be too much of a good thing, but it's still a good thing. Cheeky and refreshing. (BookLife)