Kat Jumps The Shark

Kat Jumps The Shark

3.36 (58 ratings by Goodreads)
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Suddenly a dark blur dropped through her line of vision, followed by a thump behind the glass. Kat saw first the faces of the extras. Then Peru, the prettiest contestant, fixed in horror and disbelief. There was a high, thin, sustained scream. Finally Kat shifted her gaze to the street, where a body lay at all angles in an extravagant splatter of blood.`Oh dear,' she said. Then started, helplessly, laughing. Kat Kelly reckons she's got life sorted. She has a man who cooks and does the dishes. A stepdaughter she adores. And her dream job: scouting locations for a TV production company. All the big dramas are behind her, right? Before she knows it, Kat is out of love and has nowhere to live. Between her ditzy new intern and an amorous ex-footballer, work isn't much better. And just when things couldn't get any worse, disaster strikes Kat's set, sending her spinning totally out of control.Kat Jumps the Shark is a moving and at times hilarious tale about losing it all, only to find it again in the most unexpected place. Full of cheeky digs at television and celebrity culture, this fun-filled novel is for all readers.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 314 pages
  • 152 x 234 x 24mm | 433g
  • Text Publishing Co
  • The Text Publishing Company
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • English
  • 1922147818
  • 9781922147813
  • 1,392,214

Review quote

'I loved Houston's turn of phrase. She has a truly wonderful, witty way with words, right down to some exceptional vocabulary choices...Houston hits the mark repeatedly.' -- NZ Booklovers 'In a similar vein to Marian Keyes or Kathy Lette, Houston has crafted a witty read which feels a little too dark and grown-up to be called mere chick lit.' * West Australian * 'Kat is a great character, likeable, funny and believable, and you're rooting for her from the start. Looking forward to the next book already.' * Canberra Times * 'Kat Jumps the Shark is fun, chatty and delivers a message that being nice can often turn out to be the best approach to life.' * Adelaide Advertiser * 'Often funny, sometimes moving, this is one for fans of reality TV, independent women and strong friendships.' * Weekend NZ Herald * '[Houston's] prose is easy and chatty, her characters colourfully and affectionately drawn, the story warm-hearted, laugh-out-loud funny...On the chick-lit spectrum this one is up at the smart and sparky end. It's a story that bubbles along yet still has enough depth...a fun and friendly book.' * NZ Herald on Sunday * 'This is a rollicking journey of local streetscapes told with humour, and directed pointedly at our modern television viewing...An escapist read, if you enjoy the writings of Anita Heiss or Toni Jordan, pick this one up too.' * Readings Monthly * 'Set in Melbourne, this novel is a pleasant, light read, with easily recognisable characters and an insightful behind-the-scenes look at reality television.' * Sydney Morning Herald * 'What's notable about Houston's debut novel is that rather than overwhelming the reader with a million twists and turns as Kat struggles to sort out her life, this novel takes a clear-eyed look at one woman's vulnerabilities and resilience, and chronicles the challenges of finding love after 40 and choosing what's right for you.' * New Daily * 'Houston's descriptions are marvellously evocative...there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in the novel, as well as some thought-provoking and lump-in-the-throat instances. A remarkable debut novel and a very enjoyable read.' * Bookmooch * 'The delight is in the telling and Houston tells the story in an engaging way...with our current fixation on reality shows, it's quite fun to see what is going on behind the scenes...Fun.' * Geelong Advertiser * 'Fun, heartfelt and deeply satisfying...Houston's leading lady is incredibly likeable-think Nina Proudman from Offspring-and I was cheering Kat on within the first pages of this book...I relished my time in Kat's world and I hope this is the first of many more clever and entertaining novels from Houston.' * Books+Publishing * 'An irresistible cocktail of intrigue, egos and insider information. A great read for lovers of TV told from the perspective of a no-nonsense, brave and funny heroine.' -- Kat Stewart, actor (Offspring, Underbelly)show more

About Melinda Houston

After 20 years writing everything from local news to celebrity profiles and hundreds of book, film, food and bar reviews, Melinda Houston scored her own dream job-TV critic-in 2006. These days she contributes as a critic and columnist to most Fairfax newspapers and to radio 3AW and 2UE. She lives in Melbourne.show more

Rating details

58 ratings
3.36 out of 5 stars
5 17% (10)
4 22% (13)
3 41% (24)
2 17% (10)
1 2% (1)

Our customer reviews

Kat Jumps The Shark is the first novel by Australian TV critic and newspaper columnist, Melinda Houston. Kat Kelly, expert location scout, is approaching her forties when she realises she has, once again, chosen a man who is wrong for her. Miles, a successful TV director, is a great cook and well-domesticated, and his sweet daughter Bonnie has captured Kat's heart, but Kat finds she is still not happy. Leaving Miles is a major life decision that leaves her temporarily homeless, but Kat has the support of her best friend Bets, and she has Wilson the wonderfully calm Coffee Guy with whom to debrief about that and about the daily stresses of her demanding job. And she needs them, because the bosses of her production company have taken the crazy decision to turn their reality TV show into "Survivor - CBD". Before she knows it, she's also lumbered with a naive assistant (the daughter of a famous director) and an ex-footballer with a drinking problem as a show host. On top of that, her beloved Alfa is making worrying noises. But while life still seems to be ticking over OK, one by one things start to unravel, starting with a suicide and including a mugging, a shooting, a dismissal and a fatal car accident. This is a novel that will appeal to a wide readership, but especially avid TV fans who will appreciate and enjoy Kat's habit of categorising everyone she meets in terms of TV stars. Kat is a likeable if occasionally exasperating heroine, and her most of her reactions are completely understandable. Through Kat's job, Houston provides a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and rewards involved in the production of a reality TV series. In contrast to that, making a TV ad has quite a different effect on Kat: "Her body was sore all over, her head was pounding, her stomach churning. I have an idiot hangover, she thought. A w*nking hangover. I have been over-indulging in the company of fools and my body is finally starting to reject them. She imagined herself over the next days, weeks - months? It certainly felt like this job would never end - developing more and more severe physical symptoms. Breaking out in hives. Losing her hair. Developing a series of tics and twitches until they had to cart her off, drooling and flailing, to some sort of secure facility for the terminally aggravated." Houston's descriptions are marvellously evocative: "Around her inappropriately dressed teenage girls, insulated from the weather by youth, vigour and the intoxication of school holidays, chattered in packs, exclaiming excitedly at nothing in particular." There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in this novel, as well as some thought-provoking and lump-in-the-throat instances. A remarkable debut novel and a very enjoyable read.show more
by Marianne Vincent
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