B&N Decides To Cash In

August 30th, 2007 at 11:14 pm

After initially announcing that they would NOT carry this sorry excuse for a book in its stores, Barnes & Noble will now in fact have it available for customers at their brick and mortar locations, citing customer demand for the switcheroo.

Simpson has disowned the book, saying he had little do with its creation. The
ghostwriter, Pablo Fenjves, has disagreed, saying “If I Did It” is
based on extensive discussions with Simpson.

Stock it or don’t stock it, carry it only online or not, carry it in stores but don’t promote it, whatever you do I’m sure you’ll be cashing your checks at the end of the day. The scroungy, starved wolves are circling the rancid meat and smell an easy kill. The whole thing stinks to high heaven to me.

My New Favorite Person

August 30th, 2007 at 10:44 pm

Is Millard Kaufman and I cannot wait to read his book.

Millard Kaufman is 90 years old, co-created Mr. Magoo, and is a twice Oscar-nominated screenwriter.

But now he is gracing us with a novel, Bowl of Cherries.

Author Burroughs Settles Lawsuit

August 30th, 2007 at 9:55 pm

The defamation lawsuit filed against St. Martin’s Press and Augusten Burroughs by the Turcotte family for the author’s characterization of
the clan in his bestselling memoir Running With Scissors has been settled.

According to terms of the settlement, the author’s note will now refer to the work as a “book” instead of a “memoir.” It will still be called a “memoir” on the cover though. And the acknowledgments page will change: instead of merely thanking the “Massachusetts family” portrayed,
Burroughs will, in future copies, acknowledge that the family members
portrayed recall the past differently and that both he and St. Martin’s
“regret any unintentional harm” caused by the book’s publication.

Oh yeah, this was all very worthwhile; just the next chapter in the never ending saga of Memoirists-Versus-Oprah with the likes of Augusten Burroughs and J.T. LeRoy weighing in on the fine line between fact, fiction, and imagination (and performance art?). For the record, I did not see what all the fuss was about and what exactly Oprah had her panties in a knot for.

Writers write. They make things up. That’s what they’re supposed to do.

And this is hardly a modern day issue. When William
S. Burroughs’ “Junky” was published in 1953, it came out under the pseudonym William
Lee and was released as a “novel” since both the publisher and the author
had an interest in selling the book as fiction to avoid persecution
under the increasingly hysterical atmosphere of America’s post-war
drug laws (not to mention its, eek!, homosexual content). But as William S. noted in an introduction to the original
manuscript, “The narrative is fiction, but it is based on facts of
my experience.”

And what about another one of Augusten Burrough’s books, Dry? I smell a lawsuit on the horizon for this one too (once the movie is released?), because while “Dry,” can be found in the biography
section of your local bookstore, it comes with this Author’s Note: “This
memoir is based on my experiences over a ten-year period. Names have
been changed, characters combined, and events compressed. Certain episodes
are imaginative re-creation, and those episodes are not intended to
portray actual events.”

But why is Augusten Burroughs even so popular? His writing style is formulaic and tiresome. It is
light, breezy, and overly dependent on the simile and metaphor.

If I’m in the mood for gay-funny I’m reaching for David Sedaris.

Best. PSA. Ever

August 30th, 2007 at 8:16 pm

I agree with Marc Scultz.

Also best advice EVER: Read a book. Raise your kids. Drink water. Brush your teeth. Use deodorant. In a catchy, racist-but-ironic sort of way.

Grown Up Author Gripes about Growing Up

August 30th, 2007 at 7:13 pm

In her new book, “The Death of the Grown-Up: How America’s Arrested Development is Bringing Down Western Civilization,” Diana West argues that the steadily expanding
reach of youth culture over the last half century has brought Western
civilization to the brink of disaster.


The steadily expanding reach of youth culture has brought Western civilization to the brink of disaster. That and incompetent leadership, global warming, corruption, war, greed, famine, cronyism, poverty, nuclear weapons, and enviornmental abuse.

I just don’t think you’re fighting the right fight, Diana. Nor a winning fight.

Aren’t you complaining about youth the way your parent’s complained about you and the ’60s and the hippies and the Beatles and long hair? The way parents today complain about rap and hip hop and the internet? The way I’ll be complaining about whatever god-forsaken music and clothes my rebellious and progressive kids will come up with?

And for all of Diana West’s conservative jibber-jabber in her feeble attempt to place the blame for her discomfort somewhere, anywhere, isn’t the problem not with kids not growing up, but just with kids themselves?

Kids are gross.

Let’s eat the babies.

Slick Willie to Author Book

August 30th, 2007 at 6:39 pm

Best President Ever, Bill Clinton, will be on Oprah September 4th, an appearance that will coincide with the publication of his book on philanthropy and civic action, “Giving.”

Also announced, Monica Lewinsky will publish a book called “Head.”


Clinton insists that “almost everyone-regardless of income, available time, age, and
skills-can do something useful for others and, in the process,
strengthen the fabric of our shared humanity.”

Remember that kids. Not everyone. Almost everyone.

Meanwhile, I’m having an extremely hard time imagining what kind and of what caliber book George W. Bush will write after his presedential term expires. He’ll probably have to collaborate with his wife and daughter on a kids book.

Poll: Americans Don’t Read Much

August 30th, 2007 at 6:08 pm


Let’s see…where to take this? Thanks, Captain Obvious! No shit, Sherlock!

I’m disappointed, sure. Not that I’m somebody who is so delusional to think that if ONLY people would READ more we wouldn’t have idiots as public officials, there would be less crime, and gosh darn it the world would just be a better place. But it has to be sort of kind of true, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it?

What I LOVE though, is the picture CNN included to accompany their coverage of the poll. How badly do you want to sidle on up next to this smoking, drinking, reading old woman and have a conversation with her? What do you think she’s reading??? I imagine it to be some really steamy trash.

And look at those three hooligans in the background. Misfits! I wish I was there to dust off the rabble and let the distinguished, sophisticated lady enjoy her fine wine and fine tobacco and fine literature in peace. And the sweater! What artistry! What fashion! If only there were more readers like HER in the world, it WOULD be a better place.

To recap,
No one reads.
Book sales are flat.
Women read more.
Southerners read more.
Liberals read more.

What about drinkers? What about smokers? What about hot old women in bars? What about awesome-sweater-wearers?

This poll is inadequate! I demand satisfaction!

Strange Bedfellows

August 29th, 2007 at 4:25 pm

You’ll have to forgive my ignorance, but I did not know that Charles A. Lindbergh ever collaborated with a famous Nobel Prize-winning physician, Dr. Alexis Carrel.

Luckily, David M. Friedman has written a book about them, “The Immortalists: Charles Lindbergh, Dr. Alexis Carrel and Their Daring Quest to Live Forever.”

Evidently, both men were interested in eugenics and the perfection of the human species. In his 1935 best seller “Man, the Unknown,” Carrel urgently argued for
the creation of biologic classes, with the weak and sick at one end,
and the strong and fit at the other. The sorting was to be accomplished by a
council of scientific experts much like himself.

Lindbergh, meanwhile, suffering through the kidnapping and murder of
his oldest son, and the miserable press orgy that followed, became less
and less inclined to tolerate any part of the common man. Living in
Europe to avoid the paparazzi in the United States, he was soon vocally
admiring the order and precision of Nazi Germany.

And to think I thought Chuck was just a pilot. What an ass I’ve been!

Whining For Amy

August 29th, 2007 at 3:56 pm

The father-in-law of the author of a handful of hit songs is pleading with his daughter’s fans to boycott Amy Winehouse’s music in an attempt to pry her from the desperate clutches of drugs.


Parents. Fucking narcs.

Sure, you’ll have your daughter back alive and well, but once she cleans up, her music will suffer and certainly become mediocre, and that us fans will have to suffer through. No thanks.

Amy, you musicians come from a long, distinguished and storied line of users and abusers. But your music always kicks ass! Work through it. You’ll figure it out. I have faith. But tread carefully, heroin has killed many brilliant musicians. How wonderful would this world be if we still had Blind Melon and Sublime? There probably wouldn’t be any War. Only Peace. Certainly No Rain.

And is it me, or is Amy Winehouse the lesbian-love-progeny of Tallulah Bankhead and Sarah Silverman?

A Double Dose

August 28th, 2007 at 5:53 pm

I’m always keen on trends and pairings. Try these two on for size:

Two books currently available both attempt to expose the empty, image-conscious culture of our modern society. They surely make for a devilish pair. Like eating sweatbreads with foie gras.

Dana Thomas’ Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster is about the evolution of the luxury goods business. More specifically, it’s about “how a business that once catered to the wealthy elite has gone
mass-market and the effects that democratization has had on the way
ordinary people shop today, as conspicuous consumption and wretched
excess have spread around the world.” (The differences between its US and UK covers are pretty interesting.)

“The luxury industry has changed the way people dress,” Thomas concludes.
“It has realigned our economic class system. It has changed the way we
interact with others. It has become part of our social fabric. To
achieve this, it has sacrificed its integrity, undermined its products,
tarnished its history and hoodwinked its consumers. In order to make
luxury ‘accessible,’ tycoons have stripped away all that has made it
special. Luxury has lost its luster.”

On the topic of getting similarly hoodwinked, there is Rebecca Mead’s One Perfect Day: The Selling of The American Wedding. In it, Mead argues that, “the American wedding is an exercise in cheap sentiment and pricey
self-indulgence, orchestrated by an industry that cunningly plays on
the romantic delusions of the betrothed.”

If there is enough money in my Louis Vuitton billfold, I’ll go out and buy these books, but there probably won’t be, because I’m saving up to afford a life-size ice sculpture of myself and girlfriend to have at the reception of my wedding.