Read it, know it, live it
Without actually finishing the book yet (it is awfully long), I’m gonna plug “Nobody’s Perfect” by Anthony Lane. The movie reviews are always the first thing I read in the New Yorker – like Chris Eigeman’s character in “Metropolitan,” I save myself the trouble of actually watching the stuff. For my money ($10 – I got it used), Lane is just as good a critic as Pauline Kael, and his essays and profiles, which make up half the anthology, are almost head-spinningly good. My favorite so far was a take on Gore Vidal’s hobby of reviewing the 10 bestselling novels of a given week. The fact that Lane takes a dig at Vidal in the process (“He dropped a brace of Vidal smart bombs – phrases such as ‘I once wrote the screenplay’ and ‘when my father was in the administration.”) was a factor in my decision.
And I bought a Joe Bob Briggs book, too. What does that say about me?