MTV Fumbles with Pulp Fiction

Move over, military intelligence. Step aside, jumbo shrimp. There's a new oxymoron in town: MTV books.

Yes, MTV has always been generous in doling out pop-culture pap. From television gems such as Sisqo's Shakedown to screen classics like Joe's Apartment, MTV seems to dominate the market on crappy--yet hypnotically compelling--entertainment options. And now, they've ventured to apply their winning formula for crass into post-modern pulp fiction.

Is nothing sacred?

Call it ambitious, call it unbelievable audacity, but MTV books has published 11 (yes, 11) novels aimed at their teen market. Number 6 Fumbles chronicles a week in the life of Beck, a sophomore at Penn in the late O80s. The oh-so-complex plot revolves around a football player fumbling the ball at a weekend game and Beck questioning what would happen if "she fumbled the ball" in her own life. Omigod, crisis! It's basically a 250-page blur of vodka shots, random hook-ups and cheesy O80s references ("Inside the Pi-O house they're blasting Fine Young Cannibals.") Yikes.

Meanwhile, despite being trashed through the duration of the book, Beck manages to score three A+'s on her term papers. At Penn. Sounds like another school we know?

In any case, Number 6 Fumbles is a thoroughly horrible but entertaining read. It's an experience very similar to actually watching MTV: mindless and shallow, but it still sucks you in (C'mon--how many of us have watched a Real World marathon?) After years of associating reading with scholarly pursuits, perhaps we've forgotten that books too can fill the need for crappy entertainment. Thanks, MTV!


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