Monday, May 10, 2010

Ask for this one by name!

Some tasty bits so far in Fat, Fifty & F***ked, Geoff McGeachin's sheila-and-Clyde tale of a bank manager who loses his job, robs the bank, and hooks up with a woman whose profession is not what you'd think.

There's the biker gang that runs a clean, efficient motel and a relaxed and caring old-people's home on the side, complete with wine cellar and motorcycle-maintenance classes. There's the sympathetic small-town cop who offers tips to the nervous, novice robber/protagonist. And there's the story's wistful fantasy of hitting the road to escape from an indifferent family life and a career that was one big lie.

A shadowy spy agency lurks in the background, more menacing than the one in McGeachin's D*E*D Dead!, and I'll be interested to see how that element works with all the sweeter stuff.

And it is sweet, sweeter than the Vegemite that came with the book.

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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20 Comments:

Blogger seana said...

Don't have a lot to add to this one except to say that what started as a Twitter phenomenon has now become a hot book: It's called Sh*t My Dad Says and is written by Justin Halpern. It's a kind of backhanded tribute to his incorrigible father. We've sold a few, but I think it's going to be a bigger winner for Father's Day.

May 11, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I wondered whether this title made female bookstore clerks in Australia blushed, but someone told me they especially liked making customers ask for it by its full title.

I wonder what the title will be should the book be translated into any languages other than English.

May 11, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Well, I've heard elsewhre that Australians in general have a pretty high tolerance for profanity. It was pretty funny watching Keith Olbermann come up for substitute words when he interviewed the author about his book, but he was hardly scandalized by the title.

May 11, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I like the idea of Keith Olbermann, who probably fancies himself a maverick and a free speaker, twisting himself into knots to obey his corporate bosses' censorship rules.

I similarly enjoyed my paper's review of Harry Frankfurt's valuable little essay "On Bullshit." To the reviewer's credit, he did what he could to have fun with our silly ban on dirty words.

May 11, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

I like Olbermann. Call me a maverick.

Well, maybe not.

May 11, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Nothing wrong with Olbermann. In today's economy, mavericks have to be more prudent than their predecessors did if they want to maintain their income is all.

May 11, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

I remember a recent show where he commented on some corporate ill doing and mentioned that his stance could make him persona non grata. It didn't come across as martyrdom, because he was acknowledging that if his ratings held, what he said wouldn't make any difference. I get the sense that he fully appreciates the ironic nuances of his situation.

May 11, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I have a stunning admission to make: I'm not even sure I've heard him since he went over to news commentary from sports. But I'm wary of someone whose salary is paid by NBC, Paramount and Microsoft being regarded as a voice against corporate ill-doing.

I am reminded about Harvey Pekar's rants against David Letterman's willingness to poke fun at Robert Wright's personal habits but his refusal to talk about GE's alleged corporate misdeeds. What does Keith Olbermann have to say about concentration of power in the entertainment/news industry?

None of this necessarily should detract from what he does say as long as one remembers that he is a highly paid employee of a powerful media corporation, that he is at least an indirect employee of the richest man in the world, and that this might well affect the issues on which he chooses to speak and what he chooses to say -- as it would with you, me or anyone else.

May 11, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Certainly possible he censors himself on some subjects. He's been great on health care, though.

May 11, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I should learn to read lips. The sound is often off on TVs in my part of the newsroom, where people can't listen because they're usually working.

May 11, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Oh, I think not.

If they had TV screens going all the time at my place of work, I doubt I would still be at my place of work. I guess without sound it might be okay.

May 11, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

But this is a newsroom. We have to keep abreast of events worldwide. Mostly, in fact, we watch Jeopardy and sports, though some among us stoop to Dancing With the Stars.

May 12, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

I somehow didn't think the news came to a newsroom through the television. I thought it got it over the wire. Not that I know exactly what the wire is. I mean, what exactly is the point of a newsroom if it gets the news from TV like everybody else?

May 12, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

No, but I bet you sort of thought we had TVs tuned to the latest from Berlin, Beijing and Bangkok, didn't you?

May 12, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Please tell me that the clocks are at least set to the different countries' time zones.

May 12, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That, I am happy to report, is the case, though I'm not sure how many of the clocks are running these days.

May 12, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

It's probably okay. I'm not sure how many people can actually read clocks these days anyway.

May 12, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Fran Lebowitz once had some choice words for people who think digital watches are a good idea.

She also wrote that big people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine. One could substitute so many things for that last item.

May 12, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

It's a good quote, but I think the great-hearted person can do all three and not in a spirit of condescension either. Something about meeting the other where they are.

May 12, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

She's a humorist; I take the quote in the spirit with which it was intended. Besides, I know at least one oenophile who pursues and discusses his subject with great intelligence and interest and who also like art and sports.

But you know what Lebowitz meant. If she were writing today, she'd substitute cigars for wine.

May 12, 2010  

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