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Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite
Sucker Kiss is a short story set on a sitcom stage. The protagonist, Jill, is trying to tape a pilot, her first, and although she appears to have her emotions under control, she’s understandably edgy. To complicate matters, there’s a live audience and one audience member, Larry, keeps spoiling her takes. The story, written by Ralph Bismargi, revolves around Jill’s repeated attempts to tape her pilot despite Larry’s inadvertent interference. Jill needs a successful taping because it would have a huge impact on her career. However, she becomes increasingly frustrated with Larry and takes successively strong steps to stop him, but nothing works. The reader wonders just what else Larry is going to do before Jill finishes her work.
The concept behind Sucker Kiss is solid. There was one passage that made me laugh out loud and others made me smile. The difficulty in writing humor is that not everyone finds the same material funny. Although probably most people will find this book amusing, not everyone will. The book could be funnier if Bismargi had developed or expanded his ideas. Larry could commit even more inappropriate acts, such as taking a phone call or yelling across the room to a friend he’s just spotted. The author likens the story to Saturday Night Live sketches, which is a fair comparison. Those who enjoy SNL might also like Sucker Kiss. If you’re open to quirky comedy or can put yourself in the hapless Jill’s place, then I’d encourage the reading of Ralph Bismargi’s book.