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GC’s Hitlist

Game of Lawsuits

Has any book excerpt garnered as much fanfare as when Sports Illustrated ran a piece of GAME OF SHADOWS, the upcoming expose on Barry Bonds and drugs in baseball? Well now that the book’s about to be published in its entirety (garnering a rave from b-ball fan Michiko Kakutani) Bonds has decided to sue the authors, alleging that Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams have “made a complete mockery of the justice system.”

The problem, at least in lead attorney Michael Rains’ mind, is that the authors used “illegally obtained” grand jury transcripts to write the book. “What we’re saying is, who are the real cheaters? They are the ones who are using these illegally obtained materials,” Rains said.

Williams and Fainaru-Wada said the book will stand up to a court challenge, and my own feeling is that the lawsuit’s just a big case of hot air. But with the Da Vinci Code trial winding down, there has to be a new circus in town…

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In the Department of Utterly Wrong

It’s bad enough that a publisher is giving Kylie Minogue money to write a children’s book — specifically, Puffin’s Jane Richardson has bought the rights to THE SHOWGIRL PRINCESS for publication this September — but now word comes in from the wires (via an interview with W magazine) that blonde bombshell Jessica Simpson is working on a book of poetry that she’s been writing since she was 11. “It’s a piece of my heart I want to share with my fans.”

Yes, and remember Jewel’s book of poems? No? Exactly.

In the department of “Doth Protesteth Too Much”

Poor Patricia Cornwell. Why won’t anyone believe her? Why won’t anyone play in her Jack the Ripper Sandbox? But the story of her obsession with Walter Sickert, which first saw publication in the god-awful PORTRAIT OF A KILLER, isn’t going away — in fact, it’s picking up far more hilarious steam:

Crime author Patricia Cornwell has taken out full-page ads in two national newspapers to deny she is obsessed with Jack the Ripper.

Cornwell claimed artist Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper in a book in 2002. Ripper experts rejected that theory.

In Saturday’s Guardian and Independent, Cornwell stands by her claim and calls on others to disprove it.

The ads are thought to have cost more than £10,000 each. An updated edition of her book will appear next year.

Now, until someone sends me a .jpeg version of the ad (and please do if you have one) I guess I’ll have to content myself with laughing hysterically at the transcript:

Cornwell wrote in the advert: “My ongoing investigation is far from an obsession but an excellent opportunity to provide a platform for applying modern science to a very old, highly visible case.”

In Saturday’s adverts, Cornwell called the case “far from closed” and challenged her critics to come up with concrete evidence of another suspect’s guilt.

“I welcome everyone to investigate this case and perhaps find new evidence that factually argues for or against anything I have discovered,” she wrote.

“If it turns out that something indisputably proved that this notorious killer was someone other than Walter Richard Sickert, I would be the first to offer congratulations and retract my accusations.”

And of course — ta da! — the “updated version” of the book will be out next year. Oh frabjous day, indeed.

GC Gets Herself a Hitlist

hitlist.jpgInaugural Entry: Steven Zeitchik, PW reporter
Reason for Inclusion: “Judith Regan’s Juice,” Feb. 21, 2005.
Detailed Report:
• Zeitchik describes Juiced as a potent syringe of a memoir. That just doesn’t make sense.
• Line 10 reads, By now, [Regan's] publishing method is so widely reputed that having a real conversation about it–let alone detecting in it any subtle shifts–is close to impossible. Steve: a word of advice. Never apologize for an article’s banality. That only gives the reader (i.e., me) someone to blame (i.e., you).
• Towards the article’s middle, Zeitchik notes that St. Martin’s offered Canseco a deal in the “solid six figures,” but that Canseco turned it down in favor of self-publishing. After that, Z. writes, “the details get a little cloudy.” After that? What about before & during? We know St. Martin’s can be skanky, but self-publishing pushes parallel analogies into the realm of daytime TV.
• GC can’t think of any good excuse for ending something — other than a D & D club charter — with the word “indeed.” Ditto times 8 plus 4 for the phrase, The future is here, indeed. That phrasing and “the future” are well-known to be mutually exclusive.