Saturday, 23 August 2008

I'm Sorry, David

I'm sorry David Rakoff, but I cannot finish your book.

I adore listening to you on This American Life, but whatever charm your words have on the radio is lost when they're in print.

On the back cover, it says this book is social satire, but for me it was too much social and not enough satire. I read the first 129 pages expecting something to happen and then realised that the sharp observations I thought were waiting in the wings, weren't.

Just as I wrote about Chuck Klosterman's book, I think your style is better left to the pages of the magazines for which you write, and not the medium of the paperback.

My mum agreed to look after Z tonight while PJ and I attended the opening party of the Melbourne Writer's Festival, but we decided not to go. The Palais, our local nightlife venue, is changing hands, and instead we are going to their end-of-an-era soirĂ©e.

When I was younger and we had to go to synagogue, I used to threaten my parents that if they made me go, I would stand up on my seat and scream out that I was the messiah. 

If we ended up going to the writer's festival shindig tonight, I imagined myself, not yelling out that I am the chosen one, but quietly handing David Rakoff, who's a guest of the festival, his book. 

In my fantasy, Rakoff opens the book, and looks at me, pen poised above the half title page.

"Oh no," I tell him, "I don't want you inscribe it. I'm giving your book back to you, as I no longer want it."

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