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Happy Halloween From All the Gang


October 31, 2005 in Personal | Permalink | Comments (0)

One Down...

...three to go.

Cheney Adviser Resigns After Indictment
By JOHN SOLOMON and PETE YOST, Associated Press Writers


WASHINGTON - The vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter' Libby Jr., was charged Friday with obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements in the CIA leak investigation, a politically charged case that will throw a spotlight on President Bush's push to war. Libby resigned and left the White House.

Karl Rove, Bush's closest adviser, escaped indictment Friday but remained under investigation, his legal status a continuing political problem for the White House.

The grand jury indictment charged Libby, 55, with one count of obstruction of justice, two of perjury and two false statement counts. If convicted on all five, he could face as much as 30 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines.

Oh, and please spare me any cries of "political witchhunt." I don't recall any Republicans complaining about Clinton getting crucified for lying about diddling an intern.

October 28, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

33 1/3

Continuum Books has been publishing an intriguing series, 33 1/3, "short books about critically acclaimed and much-loved albums of the past 40 years." 32 titles have already been published, including London Calling, The Velvet Underground and Nico, Let It Be (both the Beatles and the Replacements!) and Murmur.

If you have a book you've always been meaning to write about a cherished album, editor David Barker may be interested. Just email him by October 31st and he'll add you to his mailing list; then, in early November he'll send out guidelines on how to pitch your book proposal. (Details here.) Publication for this (possibly final) round of titles will be in 2007.

I'm already on the list, so for the next few weeks I'll be trying to conjure up the skeletal basics of a novel based on Morphine's The Night. The album's much more obscure than the heavyweights currently on 33 1/3's list, but I think it has pretty strong literary potential. Hopefully David will agree.

October 28, 2005 in Books, Fiction | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Pile


Yes, there it is, in all its terrifying glory. My "to read" pile. Top to bottom: Dreiser, Trevor, Trevor again, Morris, Vonnegut, Capote, Conrad, Haruf, Toews, Farrell, Ehrenreich, Burroughs, Davis, Levitt and Dubner, Potok, Rubenstein, Scheeres, Holand, Trow, Conroy, Agee, Eugenides, Zinn, Hollander (ed.), Least Heat-Moon, Mark, Beijbom, Thompson. 28 books, and that's just my (mostly) recent acquisitions. It doesn't even include anything from Julie's library that I want to read (Marquez, Steinbeck, more Vonnegut...), books of my own that I've been meaning to re-read (Sherlock Holmes, Poe, Terkel, Invisible Man, Never Come Morning...), the half-dozen-plus literary journals I've acquired over the past year but haven't read yet, or several hundred volumes at my local library. And the really scary thing is that it's always expanding--in fact, since I took this picture Monday night, the pile has already increased. (Ander Monson's Other Electricities arrived in the mail on Tuesday.)

I've decided that maintaining good health is now my biggest priority--because I'm going to have to live until at least 95 to have to the time to read everything I want to read.

October 27, 2005 in Books | Permalink | Comments (3)

Algren Award Winners Announced

Drat.

Kevin Moffett of Iowa City, Iowa takes top prize in the Chicago Tribune's 23rd annual Nelson Algren Awards, which honor previously unpublished works of short fiction by amateur or professional American writers.

Double drat. Triple drat.

Moffett's first place story, "Space," will appear in a special Books section Sunday, October 30, along with Algren runners-up David Michael Kaplan for "Some Other Time, Not This Time" and Sharon May for "The Third Country" and "The Monkey King."

Great. Looks like a long Sunday of weeping, gnashing of teeth, and wailing "Why not me? Why? Why?" over and over again. I guess it's time to polish up that old "unappreciated genius" rationalization one more time.

October 26, 2005 in Books | Permalink | Comments (2)

Davy Rothbart, The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas

I don't have much to say at length about Davy Rothbart's debut story collection, The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas, except to mention that I enjoyed it immensely. Most of Rothbart's wonderful stories are narrated by misfits, lonely souls who are drifting, trying to find their place in the world. For the most part he avoids easy resolutions--there are no genuinely happy endings to be found here. Instead, his stories are very open-ended, like the world itself. Reading these stories, I hoped--often against hope--that the narrators would have things turn out right for them. I can't say for sure whether or not things did turn out right, but Rothbart always leaves the possibility open. A very promising debut, and highly recommended.

Coincidentally, Gapers Block has a nice recent interview with Rothbart.

October 26, 2005 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hey, We're Famous!

Well, this antique appliance in our house is famous, anyway. Or maybe just momentarily familiar to Web-savvy antiques enthusiasts in the Chicago area.

October 26, 2005 in Personal | Permalink | Comments (1)

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That's one asterisk for every U.S. military death in Iraq (not to mention the uncounted tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths), thus far--from a war waged on lies and perpetuated on false hopes, and one for which is there is no end in sight. Our "MBA President" surely took enough statistics classes back in the day to realize the pace of American deaths is accelerating, not improving, which might conceivably make him question the wisdom of continuing. But after seeing his most recent comments ("the best way to honor the sacrifice of our fallen troops is to complete the mission"), I see that's not much of a possibility.

October 26, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rogues Gallery

Smile while you still can, jailbird.

October 21, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Letter from Senator Barbara Boxer

An interesting bit of information came through my inbox, in a bulk email from Senator Barbara Boxer:

(A)t Wednesday's hearing I presented Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with our Iraq petition, signed by more than 107,000 fellow Americans joining together to demand a credible success strategy and timetable for bringing our troops home from Iraq. I led off my questioning of Dr. Rice by talking about our petition and reiterating our demands, namely that the Bush Administration bring credibility, accountability, and responsibility to their Iraq policy.

But at the same time I felt so emboldened by your support during our questioning this week, I continue to be shocked and frustrated by the Administration's answers.

In fact, at the same hearing where I took Dr. Rice to task for the Administration's many false statements and changing justifications for the invasion of Iraq, I was extremely distressed to hear her lay out yet another even broader mission for our soldiers -- to remake the Middle East.

Even more unbelievably, Rice insisted that rebuilding the entire Middle East has been the Bush Administration's mission ever since 9/11. Well that is not what Congress voted for in either the resolution authorizing force in Afghanistan or Iraq, and it is not what the American people believed to be our goal. The Bush Administration is trying to perpetuate yet another classic "bait and switch," because Congress and the American people would never have supported an open-ended mission to remake the entire Middle East if the President had made his true intentions known up-front.

Yet, during the 2000 Presidential campaign, Bush flatly refuted the concept of nation-building, saying, "I’m not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say, 'This is the way it’s got to be.'"

So which is it, George?

October 21, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Hello, I'm Listening.

My iPod Mini birthday gift has turned me into even more of an obsessive than I was previously. And not just in terms of music. I've been rather pleased to discover how much the online literary world has embraced podcasting technology, in particular the reading of short stories and novel excerpts. I've just launched a new page, Listener’s Digest: Notable Literary Podcasts from Here and There, which will include the best readings I happen to come across. The first batch of links is as follows:

Leonard Michaels, “Murderers” (read by Shalom Auslander)
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” (read by Miette)
George Ade, “The Fable of the Author Who Was Sorry of What He Did to Willie” (read by Ron Evry)
Matt Bell, “Rest Stop” (read by Matt Bell)
Henry Roth, “Call It Sleep” excerpt (read by Ron Cohen)

For further browsing enjoyment, check out the following short story podcast sites...

Mister Ron's Basement
Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast
Stories to Go

October 20, 2005 in Books | Permalink | Comments (1)

Matt Bell, "Rest Stop"

In conjunction with the most recent issue of Hobart (#5, "The Travel Issue"), the journal includes numerous online bonus features, most notably Matt Bell's podcast reading of his story "Rest Stop" (3.5MB MP3, 15:08) which nicely describes being stuck in limbo in a desert way station, surrounded by ex-Marines, Japanese tourists and a married couple that won't get off the damned pay phone.

I'm very impressed with how Hobart has embraced the Internet, rather than being afraid of it like the big publishers and major record labels are. Intelligently putting some of your content online enhances your market presence and generates incremental revenue, and doesn't hurt your business. I wonder when the titans will finally realize this.

October 18, 2005 in Books | Permalink | Comments (2)

Pinter Wins Nobel...

...for his plays, of course. But he easily deserved it just for these two devastating lines:

Dear President Bush,

I'm sure you'll be having a nice little tea party with your fellow war criminal, Tony Blair. Please wash the cucumber sandwiches down with a glass of blood, with my compliments.

Harold Pinter
Playwright

(Via Skimble.)

October 17, 2005 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)

A Strong Sunday Tribune...

...although not at all from a literature standpoint. (The Books section was pathetically meager in content. Hey, if you want a weekend off, just say so. We won't mind.) Several excellent items, though.

Poverty in the Midwest
Buried under the barrage of Hurricane Katrina news coverage was a quietly disclosed and thoroughly unsettling report from the the U.S. Census Bureau.

Despite four years of steady U.S. economic growth and the most aggressive government stimulus effort since the New Deal, poverty nationwide grew for a fourth year in a row in 2004, and the Midwest took the hardest hit of all.

Detroit and other cities [including St. Louis, Cleveland and Milwaukee] had higher percentages of poor people and lower median incomes than New Orleans. Ravaged by the loss of industrial jobs in the face of ruthless global competition, the Rust Belt was exposed as a cistern of poverty and hopelessness for a distressingly large number of its residents.

So despite the terrible blow to the Bush Adminstration's image from its response to Katrina, the hurricane did provide one benefit to Dubya--it hid the latest evidence of the utter and complete failure of his economic policies. Hmmm...let all the factory jobs and an increasing number of white-collar jobs go overseas in the name of corporate profits and then underfund our education system. And then poverty rises. Gee, nobody could have seen that one coming.

The Philanthropy of Marshall Field
Local historian and writer Douglas Bukowski (Pictures of Home) writes a fine essay on the philanthropic largesse of Marshall Field and other Gilded Era Chicago tycoons, a degree of generosity which contrasts sharply to today's elite.

Field honored Winthrop with his own version of the Golden Rule: Anyone who made it big had to share it the same way...Today's Christian Right has forgotten this message of stewardship, while American businesses and their allies in Washington act as if it never existed. But Field and his ilk knew what they had to do to save their souls and at least some of their fortune. So, they spread the wealth before the government or enraged mobs could take it away.

Bear in mind that the U.S. federal income tax wasn't permanently established until the passage of the 16th Amendment, in 1913, or after Field's great decade of philanthropy. So Field wasn't motivated to give primarily for the tax writeoff, which is surely the driving force behind what little our modern day benefactors cough up.

In Praise of Studs
It's always bothered me that our media rarely honors a great person during his or her lifetime, and we often learn about their great works only after their deaths, on the obituary page. It's time we started honoring our exemplary citizens while we still have a chance to appreciate them. The Trib acknowledges this need for once, paying a nice tribute to Studs Terkel on yesterday's editorial page. I love the epitaph that Studs has already come up with for himself: "Curiosity did not kill this cat."

(Trib site requires registration...if not already registered, use "blurb@sofort-mail.de" to log on, with "noblurb" as the password. Thanks to bugmenot.com, as always.)

October 17, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Joe Meno Interview

I just stumbled across this fine 2004 interview with Joe Meno (Hairstyles of the Damned), from WBEZ's "848" program hosted by Steve Edwards.

I really believe in that really simple sentiment, that music does save your life. Maybe it’s not as dramatic as I’m making it sound, but maybe it saves your day.

I really enjoyed the writing class I took at Northwestern last summer with Meno, and this interview really brings across the humility, enthusiasm and easygoing nature that he projects in person. (Yes, I'm aware of the fact that I've mentioned Hairstyles repeatedly here, without having read it yet. I intend to rectify this by the end of the year.)

(Link via THE2NDHAND.)

October 12, 2005 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wade Rubenstein, "The Annoying Radio"

Wade Rubenstein (whose debut novel Gullboy just crossed my radar over the weekend) has a very funny story, "The Annoying Radio", at Contrary Magazine. Rubenstein conjures up a wonderful bizarro world in which a literature-obsessed Andy Roddick and a forlorn Mandy Moore check into the Chelsea Hotel so Roddick can wallow in the writerly aura, and the radio station WBUK ("The Book") plays--seemingly non-stop--a show co-hosted by Dale Peck and James Wood, who endlessly banter in locker-room, sports-talk-radio mode.

   “I'm good to go, Jim. You know, I haven't been to the Yaddo thing myself, but I've heard they warn you to pack light – laptop and a smile. That sort of thing. Y'ever go?”
   “Can't say that I have, Hatch. You know I'm a married man. The draw would have to be somethin' special. Bring back Henry James and I'll go. Jayne Anne Phillips and Elwood Reid ain't no Henry James, not by any stretch.”
   “Elwood Reid? No kidding. I could've sworn he lived in the Catskills. He's already in the woods. What's he doing at Yaddo?”
   “Jane Anne Phillips, maybe,” said Jim, laughing.
   “Please. Pabst Blue Ribbon is probably more like it. And, whadda yuh know, Moody and Franzen – the wonder twins – no-shows at Yaddo this go-round. Too busy counting their royalties or what there, Jimmy?”
   “Hard to see hysterical-realism playing well in the woods. Talking turds. Sticky garters. Where's the grace in that, Hatch? I mean, God and nature aren't even part of the question. And Moody –”
   “Don't get me started on him. Please, Jim. You know better.”

October 10, 2005 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hi, George? It's Me Again...

Disturbing news item from the BBC.

"President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"

I'm working on getting a jamming device set up to interrupt the audio signal of Dubya's TV in time for this Sunday's NFL games, and I've already got my script written.

"Hi, George? It's me again...God. Yeah, I saw the Redskins game...Look, George, I appreciate everything you've done in My name in the past, but I've got a few more things for you to take care of. Got a pencil? Yeah, I'll wait...Ready? First, nix the Iraq thing. Pull out all the troops and let the Iraqis take responsibility for their own destiny. Then, stop propping up autocratic regimes in the Mideast--all that's accomplishing is fueling anti-American hatred amongst the fundamentalists and even some moderates, and propogates terrorism. Oh, and stop selling every policy initiative as being part of the 'War on Terror.' And then I've got some things for you back home. First, reverse the upper-class tax cuts and go after the offshore tax-dodger corporations to pay their fair share. Then, fully fund long-overdue infrastructure projects like highways, bridges and railroads, using only fair, competitive bidding procedures with federal contractors. Stop practicing blatant cronyism with your federal appointments and hire qualified people instead, and stop discriminating against people who are different from you--religiously, economically, sexually, whatever. Give universal health care coverage to every single American. Oh, and for crying out loud, stop bending over for the energy companies, Big Pharma and defense contractors. Got all that? Yes, I know it's a long list, and it cuts against pretty much everything you believe in, but I know I can count on you. Okay? I'll be in touch with you again next Sunday. Take care, buddy."

October 7, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)

Schaub Gone Wild

I'm passing along this Bookslut post because a) I'm mostly Swedish with a dash of Norwegian; b) as an unpublished writer, I have a vested interest in the financial health of literary journals; and c) I just can't say enough wonderful things about Michael Schaub.

Swedish-born philanthropist Sigrid Rausing has bought Granta, the century old literary journal renowned for discovering new writers like poet Sylvia Plath and A.A. Milne, the creator of Winnie the Pooh.

So basically this means that if you're an aspiring writer, you might want to start kissing some Swedish ass now. Practice phrases like "These small cocktail meatballs are actually not unpalatable!" And "Although this furniture is of poor quality, it is surprisingly inexpensive!" And "Norwegians? F***ing peninsula hogs." Also, learn to say these things in Swedish.

You might say this shout-out of mine is just another case of incestous "blog love." I say guilty as charged.

October 7, 2005 in Books, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cory Doctorow, "After the Siege"

I've been thoroughly enjoying the podcasts of Cory Doctorow's serialized story "After the Siege." The story, which is based on his grandmother's stories of living through the siege of Leningrad, has some sci-fi elements (zombies, robots, hover cars) but is very much grounded in reality. Definitely worth checking out. The sound quality is a bit rough on the first five installments, but apparently a technical upgrade has dramatically improved the situation starting with the six installment.

October 7, 2005 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Auctorial Doppelgängers

PICTURED LEFT: Ian McEwan, Standup Guy
PICTURED RIGHT: Richard Belzer, Standup Guy

Late to the party, but now that I see the cool kids doing it...

October 6, 2005 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

"The Way Business is Done"

It just occured to me that I've recently been neglecting any mention of my new stories. Shame on me.

Putting together my story collection Rising Above required the completion of two new stories, "Immortality" and "The Way Business is Done." The latter story is a fictionalized account of the legendary Chicago alderman and graft impressario Michael (Hinky Dink) Kenna, and his role in railroad magnate Charles Tyson Yerkes' illicit effort to gain a monopoly on the downtown elevated train system. I took substantial liberties with history, given that Kenna was opposed to Yerkes, who sought to buy the necessary votes in city council through Kenna's archrival, Johnny Powers. In my story, it's Kenna who's allied with Yerkes (or "Youngs") and is making the rounds of the aldermen, seeing who can be bought and who can be persuaded by non-financial means. Youngs needs 36 votes for the council resolution to pass, and Kenna is scrambling to get the last few votes he needs.

The Way Business is Done (excerpt)

    Even more than the Hall, I found manning the cigar shop to be the best way to keep my ear to the street, and hear about all the comings and goings in the neighborhood, all the scuttlebutt and gossip. At the Hall, the lushes would usually get quiet and morose, no matter how much hooch you plied them with, and be nearly useless for information. But at the cigar store, my patrons always enjoyed mumbling a few confidential words to me, under their breath, as I counted out and handed over their change. The store had a constant flow of people going in and out, unlike the Hall where a few lumps might sit silently for hours.
    In the cigar shop that afternoon, just such a valuable tip came my way. One of my regulars leaned in close and confided that a North Side alderman, a lone wolf named Schiller, had run into a bit of “trouble” with a neighborhood girl. Schiller had run his last campaign as a clean candidate, devout, with impeccable morals. And, to his credit, he had indeed conducted his council duties appallingly above board. He never accepted any of my offers, so I knew he wouldn’t bite on the Youngs deal. But his sudden predicament would mean trouble for both his marriage--he had married well, to the only child of one of the beer barons--and his aldermanic office, if revealed to the public.
    My loyal and chatty customer was barely out the door of the shop when I knew that I had Schiller cold, and would get his vote without spending a nickel. The fact that he was a fellow Catholic, and a fellow alderman on the council, made no difference to me.
    I had a business to run, as did Youngs.
    A brief whisper to Schiller, in the hallway outside chambers the next morning, was followed by the draining of all color from his beefy face and a few stammered words of reply, both of which assured me that I had his vote.
    That gave me 35, and at least a deadlock. But I had run out of other candidates. I would have to work on Lerner.

October 6, 2005 in Fiction | Permalink | Comments (1)

Blago Comes Through, Once Again

Governor Blagojevich again shows he's fighting for the common man.

Plan Targets Gap in Kids' Coverage
by Chris Fusco and Lori Rackl, Chicago Sun-Times
October 6, 2005

Hundreds of thousands of Illinois children who do not have health insurance would be eligible for coverage under an ambitious proposal Gov. Blagojevich will announce today.

The unprecedented plan is aimed at families whose incomes are too high to qualify for Public Aid insurance for their children but still can't afford increasingly costly private coverage.

More than 250,000 Illinois children lack health insurance, according to U.S. census data and state research. About 75 percent of them come from middle-class families with household incomes between $40,000 and $80,000 a year.

(Full story)

You know, I don't really care if Governor Blagojevich's administration happens to be a bit corrupt. (Show me a politician who isn't.) He's getting things done, and if the price of progress is his cronies enriching themselves a little at the public trough, so be it.

October 6, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

"Expert" Witness

From Grist Magazine:

Next Up: Jerry Bruckheimer on Defense Policy

Novelist Michael Crichton testifies before Senate on climate change


As part of his ongoing attempts to defy parody, Senate Environment Committee chair James Inhofe (R-Okla.) convened a hearing last week on climate science, featuring as an "expert" witness...a novelist. Yup, it was Michael Crichton, whose latest thriller State of Fear casts global warming as a sinister environmentalist conspiracy. Inhofe, who has called warming "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," gushed that he was "excited about this hearing," that he had "read most of [Crichton's] books," and that "Dr. Crichton's science background has served him well." (Crichton has a medical degree but has never practiced medicine--and, oh yeah, has no background in climate science.) Crichton was treated like a celeb by the committee's star-struck Republicans, but non-Republican members were bewildered. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) said the hearing had been "organized in a way to muddy sound science rather than clarify it." You think?

I'm surprised that the Republicans haven't already tapped Crichton to weigh in on the evolution debate, on the strength of his brilliant academic treatise, Jurassic Park.

October 5, 2005 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)

Laila Lalami on Poverty

One of my favorite litbloggers, Laila Lalami (MoorishGirl.com) has a very thoughtful essay at Powells.com on contemporary fiction's role (or abdication thereof) in addressing the issue of poverty. Bravo, bravo.

Poverty has receded from the list of popular themes of the American novel. No longer do we have a John Steinbeck, a Richard Wright, a Theodore Dreiser, or a Zora Neale Hurston writing about the working poor. Who today would write that "In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage"?

Laila's debut, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits (excerpt here) is rapidly moving up my wish list.

October 5, 2005 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Uh Oh...Here It Comes Again!



October 5, 2005 in Fiction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Position Wanted

Dear Chairman of the Board:

Before coming to work here--a Fortune 500 company in the commercial real estate industry--I had no previous experience in real estate nor, I must admit, any particular interest in it. Yet I was hired on, and have now worked here for the past three years, including the past six months at the lowest rung of management. My work assignments have been limited to a highly specialized area of the company's operations and my performance evaluations, while positive, have not been exactly of setting-the-world-on-fire caliber.

My qualifications being thus established, I think I'm ready for the next step up the ladder. I want to be promoted to CEO immediately.

I trust that you will faithfully follow the wise and bold example of our country's visionary leader.

Sincerely,

Pete Anderson
Credit Manager

October 4, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Forever War

Mark Danner wrote an excellent piece in the Sunday New York Times a few weeks ago, "Taking Stock of the Forever War" which convincingly explains the rationale behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks as well as the Bush Administration's misguided response which played directly into the hands of bin Laden and al Qaeda. I've been puzzling for a while now over what, exactly, bin Laden hoped to gain from 9/11; now, thanks to Danner, I know.

The piece is rather lengthy but I strongly encourage one and all to read it.

(Thanks to Shaz for alerting me to the story.)

October 3, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Debut of Make

The new Chicago-based literary journal Make gets a strong review of its debut issue at NewPages.com.

Make’s blend of fiction, essay, poetry, artwork and interviews reminded me of The Sun. Except Make is grittier, hungrier and Chicago enough to accept advertising.

I haven't had a chance to read Make, as I have yet to procure a copy. Working on it...

October 3, 2005 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Case of the Compulsive Reader

Taking a love of reading to illicit extremes...


Man Breaks Display Case to Read Rare Book
By The Associated Press
Sun Oct 2, 6:34 AM

MADISON, Wis. - A man smashed a display case at the Wisconsin Historical Society to steal a Revolutionary War-era book worth $5,000, authorities say.

Matthew Brooke, 26, was charged Friday with felony theft of library materials and criminal damage to property. He went to the Historical Society on Thursday, according to a criminal complaint, and smashed the window on a second-floor antique display case with his elbow. He allegedly swiped the "Pennsylvania Evening Post" from inside the case.

The book is a collection of the newspaper's issues dating from January to April 1777.

A police officer found the book stuck in the waistband of Brooke's pants, the complaint said. Brooke told detectives he took the book because he wanted to read a story on page 106 about a historical figure named William Hill.


Clearly, a man in rather desperate need of Google Print.

October 2, 2005 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)