"Frog King," Adam Davies' 2002 debut novel—a roman a clef about book publishing—didn't make much of a splash when it first hit bookstores. But in 2004, Intermedia optioned Bret Easton Ellis's adaptation of the book, with Asif Kapadia to direct. Now, the script is floating around town, and people are noticing the remarkable similarities a certain character in it bears to a famous recently-deposed publishing tyrant. We got our hands on a copy, and, lookie here: She's a sexually rapacious evil bitch goddess and her name is "Judith Nathan."
USA Today has anointed The Tourists author Jeff Hobbs' as the winner in the battle of 80s brat pack protégés, saying that his book is "more impressive and ambitious" than Dana Vachon's Mergers and Acquisitions. Um, sure! Maybe in the same way that Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl was more impressive and ambitious than Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer. Anyway, the rave (yes, the USA Today rave) has thrust Hobbs' literary hand-holder Bret Easton Ellis (as opposed, of course, to Vachon's #1 fan Jay McInerney) back into the spotlight. He didn't go to Hobbs' book party, after all. Has he abandoned his furtherance of Hobbs' career?
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 are wholeheartedly fucking psyched for a B.E.E.-penned "horror-tinged" soap to make its way to our TV screens. Called "The Canyons" ("a reference to Los Angeles but also a 'metaphor for the chasm people have in relating to each other'"), the series will center around a young New York magazine editor who follows a friend to LA, only to find himself isolated when the friend is killed in a mysterious accident. Awesome! We love it when B.E.E. taps into his Stephen King/Christopher Pike streak.
It's late Wednesday afternoon and we're sitting at our computer and there's an email from this flack, this publishing hardbody named Sloane Crosley, and scrawled in blood it says that Bret Easton Ellis, who's always wearing that grey Dior Homme suit from the Spring '05, is cancelling the tour for the paperback release of Luna Park:
• With only 50 out of 367 employees contributing, Jann Wenner's hurricane relief fundraising drive hasn't had the sort of response he'd "hoped for." Well, Jann, your employees haven't had the sort of salaries they'd hoped for. [Jossip]
• More on the Bellis front: Bret Easton Ellis thinks Katie Couric is a bitch and "very glib" about publishing. [WWeek]
• Our local primary elections are right around the corner; time to learn the difference between your ass and your elbow. [Gotham Gazette]
• Sometimes, we'd give money just to make the benefit concerts stop. [Black Table]
• The ten most ignored news stories of the year. Get riled up or something. [SFBG]
• FishbowlDC joins the scooping frenzy with an advance copy of Carl Bernstein's account of being scooped by Vanity Fair in the outing of Mark Felt as Deep Throat. [FishbowlDC]
The Today show got genuinely compelling for a moment this morning, as Lunar Park author and creepy-fantastic contemporary lit legend Bret Easton Ellis sat down with Katie Couric's legs for a brief interview. Couric, being a concerned, motherly type, naturally asked Ellis about the graphic violence and exaggerated bloodshed of his harrowing American Psycho. A paraphrased transcript:
Flak Mag's "Rejected" column compares the newly-launched Radar magazine to Uday Hussein. Kevin Baker notes: "Radar's stable of writers includes Candace Bushnell and Bret Easton Ellis, among others," while "Uday's personal zoo housed lion, two cheetahs, five cubs, and a young bear." What? You don't see the obvious connection?
Battle of the buzz [Flak Mag]
It's SARS Day at the Observer, apparently. (At Gawker, two = trend.) More celebs are asked about SARS:
· Writer Bret Easton Ellis: "Is it on 25th Street?"
· Paris Review founding editor, George Plimpton: "I m certainly going to turn away from anybody coughing, I know that...And there go all the doorknobs. Irving (Swifty) Lazar couldn't open doorshe was famous for that. Opened doors with handkerchiefs."
· Publicist Maggie Gallant says SARS isn't her biggest fear: "Here's what I'm afraid of, and it happens to me all the time...It never fails: When I'm looking like shit, I run into people all the time. It happened to me today; I got busted in Victoria's Secret. Ugly trashy lingerie, and I ran into someone I hadn't seen in five years! It was very upsetting. That s what I hate about New York, and that's what scares me: I'm scared to leave my house without full makeup and hair. I have my reputation to uphold"
A bug's life [Observer]