Full Contact Authoring

September 28th, 2007 at 4:25 pm

One would typically assume that writing is a relatively safe occupation, a profession insulated from the more traditional workplace hazards by, among other things, cork-lined rooms and booze. But not any more.

Not since Jack Kerouac pushed the physical act of writing to new heights with “On The Road” have we seen anything as absurd and boggling as Japan’s cell phone novelists. Take that electronic books.

As reported in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, one such cell phone novelist, Satomi Nakamura, got so carried away that she broke a blood vessel on her right little finger.

Ouch! Would the WGA consider that worker’s comp?

I am all about pushing the medium to new places, but isn’t this taking writing somewhere close to the physicality of synchronized swimming?

Consumer Alert!

September 27th, 2007 at 6:51 am

Joel Osteen’s “Become A Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Everyday:”

How do you people not realize that when such a smarmy, repulsive individual smiles at you like that and shows such interest in your life and promises such an exact, palatable number (7) of ways to improve your life that he is not being helpful nor sincere?

That he is actually being smarmy and repulsive and a bit pathetic?

Aren’t you a little suspect that this is also Stephen Covey’s magic number as well as the number of dwarves Snow White had as well as the number of days in the week? Don’t you see the pattern? Of your delusion?

Why don’t you people realize this?

Aren’t you reading the right books?

Grisly Ham

September 27th, 2007 at 6:35 am

John Grisham has a new book, Playing For Pizza, and it doesn’t take place in a courtroom and does not contain the typical John Grisham-trite elements of a crime, lawyers, a courtroom, drama, intrigue, mystery, and a Hollywood-appropriate, dramatic-yet-inevitable-yet-surprising ending.

No, “Playing For Pizza” is about a football player who gets cut after a disastrous performance and goes to play for an Italian football team. It’s supposedly a funny, heartwarming look at second chances. Oprah, is this one for you?

So do you mean that now that John Grisham is “stepping away from the courtroom”/deviating from his clich├ęd formula of hack formulaic, depraved, derivative writing that he is actually a “writer?” An “author?” A “novelist?”


As my world crumbles around me…

God Books

September 25th, 2007 at 4:07 pm

If there’s any genre competing with Bush books and dog books it’s god books. Hooray Jesus!

October 16th will see the publication of Norman Mailer’s On God: An Uncommon Conversation.

With Mailer finding fault with the Ten Commandments, because adultery, he says,
may be a lesser evil than others suffered in a bad marriage; and
holding that technology was the Devil’s most brilliant creation, this tome may actually belong on your shelf next to Zadie Smith’s similarly titled On Beauty, but most likely it belongs with God Is Not Great or The God Delusion or Athiest Manifesto or Breaking The Spell or Why I Am Not a Christian.

Bushie Books

September 25th, 2007 at 3:40 pm

Am I the only one getting really sick of the glut of books on Bush? Does this administration deserve to be publicly lambasted, scrutinized, and held severely accountable for their hubris? Yes! Of course. But aren’t we taking cheap shots at this point? Isn’t this topic really easy at this point? Isn’t it time to stop writing books out of frustration and demand true accountability from, oh I don’t know, Congress? Oh, but that’s right, they’re all too busy neglecting their jobs as they pursue their future job, as president! Argh.

So now we’ve got “The Big Con: The True Story of How Washington Got Hoodwinked and Hijacked by Crackpot Economics” which is guilty of what so many books are similarly guilty of these days, which is a subtitle that is just too long and rambling and lacking a simple, succinct elegance that should be the very definition of a title. But that’s neither here nor there. Evidently, it’s pretty good.

And there’s also The Evangelical President.

I hate that word. Evangelical. I hate it semantically for what it has come to mean in the present culture of our society and its dominance therein. And I hate it linguistically. It seems to be some perverted combination of ejaculate and lick. It’s a dirty word. In every sense.

Red Zone Offense

September 20th, 2007 at 7:16 pm

Now that diplomats and civilians have been barred from leaving Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone following the Blackwater debate and Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s well-reviewed book, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone, is now available in paperback, maybe it’s time we read the damn thing?

Not me.

I’m still suffering shell shock from reading The Looming Tower, The Assassin’s Gate, and the news everyday.

I swear to god, at this point I really am going to purchase all seven Harries Potter and curl up on the couch with a blanket and a bottle of wine and read them all straight through.


September 20th, 2007 at 5:31 pm

Because news of Sean Penn playing Harvey Milk in a Gus Van Sant-directed adaptation is simply not enough Sean Penn, this Friday will see the release of Sean Penn’s adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s “Into The Wild.”

And watch out for the upcoming silver screen adaptations of the uber-popular The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and Ian McEwan’s Atonement.

And following his performance in the very good A History of Violence, which was an adaptation of the graphic novel, Viggo Mortensen is set to appear in the silver screen interpretation of Cormac McCarthy’s outrageously successful “The Road.”

The talentless Hollywood leaches are hard at work suckling from the brilliance and craftsmanship that is the book world. Too bad “we” can’t make any money off it.

Author Elie Wiesel’s Attack Case Continues

September 19th, 2007 at 5:47 pm

In case my O.J.-book predictions actually COMING TRUE weren’t enough for you, there is more Book Court happenings in the news:

Nobel Prize winner, Holocaust survivor, and author with the most i’s and e’s in his name Elie Wiesel’s assault trial moved forward with alleged attacker 23-year-old Eric Hunt pleading not guilty to six felony charges stemming from a February attack. Hunt’s attorney claims that his client is severely bipolar and may divert the case to Behavioral Health Court.

This is all very, very sad. To attack such an old man, who has already been through so much.

It’d be like attacking James Frey. He’s already been through so much. It’s a dead horse. Just let them write their art. And you know what, Oprah? He didn’t “con us all.” He conned YOU! So calm down and leave James and the rest of us alone.

Wiesel’s case proceeds October 1st for a pretrial conference and then again October 4th to decide if the case goes to the behavioral court.

And who says our judicial system is bogged down with unnecessary proceedings? This is all breezing right along.

Director Zwigoff and Author Clowes Reunite

September 18th, 2007 at 4:18 pm

Terry Zwigoff will direct and write with Daniel Clowes the movie “The $40,000 Man.” It’s currently slated to be released in 2010.

It’s a promising venture. They both earned oscar nominations for best adapted screenplay for 2001′s Ghost World.

Clowes has churned out the stellar Ghost World and the decent David Boring graphic novels and seems to be still hard at work.

Zwigoff (who is evidently competing with Tim Burton for creepiest-looking Hollywood director) directed the fourth best Christmas movie of all time, Bad Santa, and the disappointing Art School Confidential.

The best Christmas movie of all time is Christmas Vacation.
The second best is Christmas Story.
The third best is Home Alone.

There I said it.

Rosie’s Book Turning Up Thorns

September 18th, 2007 at 2:42 pm

Rosie O’Donnell’s book, Celebrity Detox, isn’t even published yet and it’s already making waves. Which is a great way to sell books! But…

…advanced reviews are promising a bleak, revealing, straightforward memoir in which the comedienne talks about breaking her own limbs as a child, her tumultuous on-air relationship with Barbara Walters, her spat with Donald Trump, and how fame is a drug.

Yikes. Even that cover says it all. It’s not a full shot of the famously plump, jolly actress but rather a dark, gloomy close-up that belongs somewhere in the self-help or psychology section.

And we could all probably use a little celebrity detox. Read Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truths Behind America’s Favorite Addiction perhaps? If only these people weren’t so easy on the eyes and easy to be entertained by.