RARA-AVIS: Willeford, russian roulette and reality television

From: michaelschong@canada.com
Date: 01 Jan 2001

Spoiled unpublished Willeford...

There was mention on the list of unpublished Willeford appearing in Orange Pulp, a collection of Floridian crime writers. The title of the piece is also the title of the fictional television show the story is about. A network-sanctioned reality television game show about russian roulette. "The First Five in Line..." would be agit-pop if written yesterday. Written in 1975, it is eerily prophetic.

In a structure like a television "bible," a producer's folder of character sketches and correspondence, TFFiL shows the sociopathic politics of television magic and the pathetic lives of some of the volunteers/psychiatric patients/game show contestants. It is similar in tone to The Machine in Ward Eleven.


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