Wednesday

[books] G'night, g'night. Leaving is such a downer, I'll keep saying g'night until our next encounter.

Have you been hearing about the most recent "Ah-HA! Gotcha!" book scandal? Girl gets $500,000 two-book deal at the age of 17, writes first one, gets caught plagiarizing, life is ruined forever. I honestly didn't think it was as bad as all that at first but the news is just getting worse and worse. Now the publisher is pulling her book and she lost her book deal. Also, a newspaper she interned at is now going over all the pieces she wrote there, as a pre-emptive strike against any Stephen Glass/Jayson Blair scandal. I assume she won't be invited back to Harvard this fall. She'll probably become addicted to drugs and start pan-handling or prostituting her body. But hey, at least then she'd have something interesting to write about.

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From page 213 of Megan McCafferty's first novel, 'Sloppy Firsts': "Marcus then leaned across me to open the passenger-side door. He was invading my personal space, as I had learned in Psych class, and I instinctively sank back into the seat. That just made him move in closer. I was practically one with the leather at this point, and unless I hopped into the backseat, there was nowhere else for me to go."

From page 175 of Viswanathan's novel: "Sean stood up and stepped toward me, ostensibly to show me the book. He was definitely invading my personal space, as I had learned in a Human Evolution class last summer, and I instinctively backed up till my legs hit the chair I had been sitting in. That just made him move in closer, until the grommets in the leather embossed the backs of my knees, and he finally tilted the book toward me."

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In Meg Cabot's "The Princess Diaries," published by HarperCollins, the following passage appears on page 12: "There isn't a single inch of me that hasn't been pinched, cut, filed, painted, sloughed, blown dry, or moisturized. ... Because I don't look a thing like Mia Thermopolis. Mia Thermopolis never had fingernails. Mia Thermopolis never had blond highlights."

In Viswanathan's book, page 59 reads: "Every inch of me had been cut, filed, steamed, exfoliated, polished, painted, or moisturized. I didn't look a thing like Opal Mehta. Opal Mehta didn't own five pairs of shoes so expensive they could have been traded in for a small sailboat."

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There are many other comparisons, with many other books (including Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie!). I don't have the energy to copy them all here, suffice it to say that I am disappointed. And Viswanathan's weak-ass claim, "I had no idea how much I internalized Cabot's writing", was totally lame.

But hey, I'm writing a book. I just got done writing the first paragraph. It's about the Bush administration:

Things are going really great, things are going really bad. It's a time of intelligence, it's a time of stupidity. Twenty score and ten years ago, our great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- grandfathers were talkin' bout a revolution. In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids...

That's as far as I've gotten. It's going to be a coming-of-age story about a small town Vermont girl who gets bored, gets angry and gets even. It's going to be called, "True Confessions from the Secret Diary of Someone Who Read the Da Vinci Code to Become Healthier and Younger Overnight, or Harry Potter and the 30-Minute Meals".

2 comments:

Semaj said...

Yeah, I wrote about this scandal too. Wonder why someone that finally got to do something that she's always dreamed about, screw it up so badly.

I agree with you she will drop out of school and probably get into drugs.

Shelby said...

I'd buy that book...

Yours, I mean...it sounds more interesting than hers...lol