Every publisher who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible. He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people's vanity, their tendencies to nepotism, their "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" deals and publishing them without remorse. Publishers justify their treachery in various ways according to their temperaments. The more pompous talk about "high concepts" and "important recommendations"; the seemliest admit that, hey, the book's by one of my writer's kids; the most honest tell you that they'll pretty much publish anything if it shuts Bret Easton Ellis up.

We're speaking, of course, of the following announcement, which appeared in Publisher's Lunch:


Joe McGinniss Jr.'s first novel THE DELIVERY MAN, a portrait of today's lost generation, set in Las Vegas and involving a teenage-girl escort ring, with an unlikely love story at its heart, to Morgan Entrekin at Grove/Atlantic, for publication as an original trade paperback for Black Cat in winter 2008, by Katharine Cluverius at ICM (world).

(Recommended to the house by Bret Easton Ellis, it completes a circle that began when FATAL VISION author Joe McGinniss recommended to his former editor Entrekin the manuscript that became Ellis's Less Than Zero in 1982.)

Admit it, you're gagging a little too, right? One can only hope that Janet Malcolm has a daughter who can bring all this shit crashing down.

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The Journalist and the Murderer

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