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20 August 2008


Did you see the NYTimes review of this book? http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/books/review/Mallon-t.html?scp=1&sq=%22lee%20israel%22&st=cse I won't lie, it made me interested, but now you've turned me off. Does the author often use phrases like "totally cool"? That's a problem. Thanks for the warning.

I did not see that review, and I thank you for the link. In my opinion, the review is bullshit, written by one NY literati/academic (I think he lives in Washington, D.C., actually, but close enough) to help sell copies of a book by another NY "literati." And I REALLY take umbrage that Mallon says Israel would have caught the interest of Joseph Mitchell--chronicler of the downtrodden and truly eccentric in NY. Please. There is nothing eccentric about a drinking problem, high rents, and the need for money, then turning to crime to get money. That's about as un-eccentric as it gets, frankly.

I don't care if it's a "victimless" or glitzy crime. It still sucks. If you still want to read this book--and about the only thing it's got going for it is that it's short and you can read it in a couple hours--check it out from a library. You can still always buy it later if you'd like. And yes--"totally cool" is an exact quote. How's that for graceless writing? You see what I mean about this woman NOT being Dorothy Parker?

Of course, if you wanted to emulate Ms. Israel, you could always STEAL this book from the library. Classy.

I think you make your point(s) well. I'm convinced! And in my defense, even if a defense isn't necessary at this point, I was initially concerned about this book, then only momentarily intrigued after reading the review (which struck me as odd at the time - and your assessment makes sense), and now I'm returning to my original skepticism, possibly advancing to anger once I give it more thought. Kudos!

C.R. You write the best reviews of bad books! It's an art form.

Thanks, Brian--I maintain it may be worth a look if anything about it originally piqued your interest. If anything, if you read it and don't like it, you can give full throttle to your anger!

You're kind, thanks. Bad books piss me off so maybe I write about them with more passion? Sometimes the books make it easy though, particularly with phrases like "totally cool."

Even if I were interested in reading this, which I'm not, I wouldn't---just because I wouldn't want to contribute to lining her pockets even further. Takes gall to first forge those documents, then publish a book about it to capitalize on the situation. Talk about opportunistic.

You can get an AMEN from this chorus, sister Heather!

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