Sunday, February 05, 2006

Blogging the Wolfe Book, Sniff Test

And how are we doing? Some glaring omissions, a few mangled facts and some major errors. In all, the book isn't doing well and we’re only on Page 6. If this were a restaurant, the health department would give it a “B” grade and start looking for vermin infestations and improper storage of food. The suppression of any information about the author’s links to Los Angeles Realtors and one of the leading financiers of the 20th century is particularly troubling—and certainly raises the question of whether the book is going to play fair with the reader.

In all honesty, if this were any other book, I would have already quit, because it’s clear that this is going to be a problematic manuscript all the way to Page 402, and life is short.

Still, people keep telling me what a great book this is, so let’s forge ahead.

Page 7

In the 1940s you could listen to … Edgar Bergin.

Oh dear. Clearly, along with purging the staff of fact-checkers, ReganBooks has fired its proofreaders. “Gang Busters” instead of “Gangbusters” might be forgivable. But Edgar Bergen as Bergin? That’s really no way to treat one of the Beverly Hills neighbors.

But by 10:00 p.m. the entertainment came to an end and you knew it was time to go to sleep when the fruit frost warnings came on.

Hm. Let’s dig into the radio logs, shall we? Looks like programs ran until at least a bit past midnight on Jan. 15, 1947.

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