Monday, October 15, 2007

O.J.'s Book "like staring straight into an open sewer"

Book reviewer Rod Liddle, in the first two paragraphs of his review in the Sunday Times of London, completely destroyed O.J. Simpson's supposed book and everyone responsible for placing the thing in bookstores around the world.

It's hard to fault anything that Liddle had to say.

Now, here’s a thing. A book that is simultaneously morally disgusting and excruciatingly dull. A filthy little project that, although extremely brief (there’s a lot of padding in those 208 pages), succeeds in both boring the reader beyond endurance and making him gag. Hurry, hurry, while stocks last, etc.

On the other hand, the stuff about the book — how it came into being and why — is quite compelling, in the same way that staring straight into an open sewer can be quite compelling for a while. What’s going to float along next? That old thing horrified fascination, I suppose.
Now, why did the Goldmans decide, in effect, to collaborate with the repulsive man who had killed their son? One answer — which you can believe, if you like — is in the lengthy foreword to the book from the Goldman family. Was it for the dosh, the greenbacks, the moolah? No, no, no — heaven forfend! “So here we sit,” they write, “having to take on this incredibly controversial book project, which many deemed abhorrent, disgusting and dirty, and turn it into something powerful and positive. Having read the manuscript in great detail, we are more determined than ever to put this product out into the world as an exposé of a murderer.”

Ah, we see. Well, I suppose they’ve turned it into something that their bank manager would undoubtedly see as “powerful and positive”; but the whole world suspects that Simpson was the murderer, particularly after he was found liable in the civil suit. So your point is? Indeed, the entire foreword is an emetic, prolonged whine of self-justification ineffectively masking self-interest and financial greed.
Incidentally, the family of Nicole Brown Simpson objected to the whole shebang. Thank the Lord, you might be thinking, for a bereaved family with a sense of dignity and decency. But then you learn that they applied, unsuccessfully, to the court for a chunk of the profits.

The “If I Did It” bit, by OJ himself (via the third-rate, bland hackery of the benighted Fenjves, employing the grammar, the turn of phrase, the recourse to cliché, and all the psychological insight of a moron), is not remotely worth reading.
Well, that about says it all. No one involved in this fiasco seems to be thinking about much but how much money they can squeeze from the brutal deaths of two people. How horrible is that?

Read the whole column here.


  1. John, I only wish I had said it myself. It's a near perfect description of that whole fiasco, IMO.

  2. Aye, incredibly well-said. I'm still caught between the cynical part of me, which isn't at all surprised that the book sold so well, and the part of me that is amazed anyone could even touch it.

  3. Heather, I do have to wonder who is buying this book...probably the same folks who are so intrigued by what Britney Spears is spaced out on today, would be my guess. Oh well, a fool and his money are soon parted...