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Enemies List: A.J. Jacobs vs. Joe Queenan

A.J. Jacobs: Not A JackassIn this weekend’s Times Book Review, Esquire’s A.J. Jacobs complains about Joe Queenan’s earlier review of his book, in which:

He referred to me as a “jackass.” A jackass. In The New York Times Book Review. I flipped around to the other reviews. Did they call Philip Roth a doofus? Did they call Gish Jen a nitwit? No, just me. A jackass. The review was so vicious it was written up in The Village Voice, on several blogs and, oddly enough, in Women’s Wear Daily. Yes, when your book review is mentioned next to articles about taffeta, you know it’s bad.

[Ed.—Something tells us Queenan isn't going to apologize anytime soon.] Watching two humorists chase each other with “kick me” signs and scotch tape is sort of amusing but we’re having more fun applying the essay title (“I Am Not a Jackass”) to other Times stories.

Advantage: Normally, we’d assume that if you have to write an essay in the New York Times titled, “I Am Not a Jackass,” you are axiomatically a jackass. But in this case, we’ve got to give the win to Jacobs, for hitting Queenan where it really hurts—in the Amazon rankings. (Jacobs. Queenan.)

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