Continuing with “Andy Prieboy Week” here at Popcult, today we’re looking at a novel, co-written by Prieboy with comedy writing legend Merrill Markoe: “The Psycho Ex Game,” inspired by the song posted earlier here at Popcult. “The Psycho Ex Game” is a “He said/She said” book, with alternating chapters told in first person by slightly fictionalized versions of Prieboy and Markoe “Grant Repka” and “Lisa Roberty.” They meet at a performance of Repka’s musical, based on the romance of Tommy Lee and Pam Anderson, and strike up a bizarre email correspondence, which develops into a game, as they try to out-do each other with sordid tales of their respective “Psycho Exes.” This is one compelling read. Both authors so clearly delineate their characters that you feel like you know them instantly. The game itself is a terrific device to let us get to know these people.

” From the Psycho Ex Game Official Handbook:
All points in Psycho Ex Game are self-awarded by the narrator.
Points are given based on a personal value system of
humiliation, horror, self-debasement and pain endured. ”

This book is a pure delight. Or to be more exact, it’s a guilty pleasure. You feel bad getting so much enjoyment out of other people’s tales of misery, but Markoe and Prieboy do such a deft job of letting you inside the heads of their protagonists that you instantly relate to them.

Part of the fun of this novel is that it’s so thinly disguised. Though Markoe’s “Lisa” is famous for having dated “Nick Blake,” a big-time movie comedian, in real-life, Markoe spent the better part of a decade as the significant other of David Letterman. I’d rather not guess wrong about the identity of “Jane Gray,” the novel’s name for Prieboy’s psycho ex, but I think it’s one of the alternative music scene’s favorite divas. In the book, “Grant’s” musical is about Tommy Lee and Pam Anderson. In reality, Prieboy has created “White Trash Wins Lotto,” an acclaimed musical that tells the story of Guns N Roses.

This book was published almost two years ago, but managed to fly under my radar. I didn’t find out about it until last week, while I was making one of my periodic checks of Amazon to see if a cast album of “White Trash Wins Lotto” had been released yet. Imagine my shock when I discovered that one of my favorite musicians had co-written a book with a comic author whom I hold in high regard. Talk about not being able to put a book down: My desire to finish reading this book mirrored “Lisa’s” obsessive need to read the next email from “Grant.”

“The Psycho Ex Game” has been out long enough that you can buy it now for next nothing, using Amazon’s “new and used” option. I think my hardcover copy was less than six bucks, including shipping. It’s the best six bucks I’ve spent in years.