June 20, 2006

Ready Steady Book

There’s a review of North of Sunset at Ready Steady Book. Not the greatest review but I don’t care completely. I’m glad that someone took the time to think about it. The best I can grab from the review is that it is a "Gripping, readable story."

As for his criticism that the blackmail is unrealistic: Sennet has pictures where it looks like he could be killing a girl. There might be rumors that Jude Law is sleeping with his nanny, but they’re just words. Pictures are something else. Besides, I don’t think this really matters. The man’s vanity is at stake. It is a book about how vanity and celebrity can drive a person insane. The reality of it is not as important to me. I’ve seen a similar criticism when people say, "I don’t believe a celebrity would become a serial killer." Doesn’t matter to me. The book’s about the madness of celebrity--the self-love and the worship--not all about serial killing.

Finally, he calls the book "conservative" right after calling it a Marxist fable, so I don’t know where he’s coming from. I guess criticizing Hollywood-style hedonism could be considered right-wing because it is a mantra of conservatives. There’s enough wrong with celebrity worship that it can be targeted by both the left and right.

He writes: "Hobbes, Houllebecq and Henry Baum are saying that the individual has an unlimited capacity for evil and violence and must therefore be kept subject to authority, restraint and checks."

No, but I am saying that celebrity has a far-reaching grip on our culture and that it should be reined in. The book isn’t about man’s capacity for violence, but man’s capacity for worshipping things that don’t deserve it. And anyway, who ever said murder shouldn’t be against the law? I'm no anarchist. People aren't ready for it. Anarchy would be apocalyptic. Should there be laws governing celebrity worship? No, fascism doesn’t work. But humanity doesn’t work all that well either. Left to their own devices, people fuck around.

I’m not bitter, just addressing some things. At least it got him thinking. If you haven’t read the book, this probably isn’t so interesting. Or better yet, buy it, and see if he’s right.


Henry Baum said...

By the way, when I lived in Paris, I used to watch this BBC show called "Ready Steady Cook." Two people bring in three random things from their kitchens--a can of tuna fish, a potato, breadcrumbs, whatever--and the cooks need to make something gourmet out of them. I loved that show. They should bring it over here.

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