Tony Hillerman’s Seldom Disappointed: A Memoir is both sorely disappointing, for how badly and boringly it is written, and how much of a sell-out shill Hillerman, despite still calling himself a “journalist.”
Please, let us be clear: I do not just mean “shill” as a put down. I am being exact in language here. Hillerman is a shill and he should feel deeply ashamed and ethically compromised for it.
Even if Hillerman weren’t a shill and a disgrace to the journalism profession, his memoir is still a terrible and boring read.
There are two kinds of violence in Among the Thugs.
The first is the violence we, the reading and civilized public, are supposed to abhor: violence perpetrated by the football (soccer) hooligans.
The second kind of violence is that perpetrated by the police forces against protesters of all stripes, including those football hooligans, American author Bill Buford all but outright states is an entirely acceptable form of violence perpetrated by state actors.
Don’t get me wrong: Among The Thugs is an enjoyable read and the violence is certainly disturbing.
However, Buford falters many times and a large portion of his falters are the sanctioning of state terror and violence.
Gary Krist’s Empire of Sin imagines itself to be far greater than it is and focuses on seemingly key players in a ploy to garner the reader’s attention at the price of a more complete history.
Empire of Sin is a quick read that focuses its gaze at the police in New Orleans and those who ran the brothels, especially Tom Anderson.
While the scope, set out in the book’s title, is grand, it falls far short of any of its stated goals, focusing on prostitution and the temperance movements while mentioning, but not truly delving into, the racial segregation that appears, from his book, to be the most powerful force that shaped in New Orleans has become.
The author is a five-time New York Times bestselling author, and I want to write, based on the quality of his writing, I am entirely baffled as to how. That is not accurate: many New York Times bestselling authors are terrible writers and based on And give up showbiz?
Josh Young falls into that category.
There are a bunch of things that strike the wrong tune with And give up showbiz?, but the most glaring I the book should not be for sale, but should be given away by the book’s subject, lawyer Fred Levin.
Let me clarify: This is a badly written, book-length public relations pamphlet for Fred Levin.
The subtitle of the book is: “How Fred Levin beat big tobacco, avoided two murder prosecutions, became a chief of Ghana, earned boxing manager of the year & transformed American law.”