Thursday, September 27, 2007

If Alan Greenspan Met O.J. to Discuss Their Bestsellers

An article in this morning's USA Today's book review section referred to a funny piece in the current New Yorker. In the Shouts and Murmurs section, Andy Borowitz imagines what a conversation between bestselling authors Alan Greenspan and O.J. Simpson might be like. An excerpt from the column:
'Every now and then, we ask authors whose work we admire to come to our offices to discuss their work and the craft of writing. Last week, we invited two writers who have just published new books: Alan Greenspan (“The Age of Turbulence”) and O. J. Simpson (“If I Did It”). Here is their conversation.

Greenspan: I’m sure you get tired of people asking you this, but here goes: Where do you get your ideas?

Simpson: (laughing) Boy, do I ever get tired of that question! Sometimes I think I’m going to kill the next person who asks me that. (Makes a gun gesture.) Bang bang!

Greenspan: But as I was reading “If I Did It”—which I loved, by the way—

Simpson: Thank you.

Greenspan: —I couldn’t help but ask myself, How the heck did he come up with this? I mean, some of this stuff is really out there.

Simpson: I thought it would be interesting to put myself inside the head of a sociopathic killer—sort of like what Bret Easton Ellis did in “American Psycho.” '

Bestseller lists can make strange bookfellows. For example, The Dangerous Book for Boys which is currently on the bestseller lists will be followed by The Dangerous Book for Dogs: a parody by Rex and Sparky with some help from humans. Publishers Weekly gave it good review: (Caution: some things dogs write about can be in bad taste.)

'This gentle parody of the bestselling Dangerous Book for Boys-identical in look and tone to its source material-offers an often funny, surprisingly insightful take on dog behavior that's sure to resonate with the Spot set. With the "assistance" of their human companions, canine authors Rex and Sparky relate practical and authoritative information on topics simple (baths, fleas, bones, poop, "things you can chase") and complex: the rules of fetch (it's not officially over until a player earns 17,572 points), tips on crotch sniffing (under the heading "How to Make Your Owner Look Like an Idiot") and a critical guide to frequently ingested items (vomit and poop receive top marks; rocks and keys rank considerably lower). Among more than 50 short entries, the authors seem to have thought of everything, including escape tips for humiliating costumes, stirring true stories ("Great Dog Battles-Part Two: Pepper vs. A Patch of Light") and even a report on Pavlov (written by his two dogs). Though it occasionally pushes the envelope of good taste... this goofy, gleeful guide to the dog life will tickle anyone with a soft spot for canines. '

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