The Breakfast Table

Kiss Your Assets Goodbye

C’mon, Margo! Talk dirty to me! I want to know about your … portfolio. I see you mostly in big caps and classic widows’ and orphans’ fare … McDonald’s (overvalued), AT&T (dog), and definitely some airlines. But I digress.

No I won’ t think the less of you for your inane remark that Gennifer Flowers is “smart and classy,” and yes I’m quite impressed that you are reading–or “getting into” (is that the same thing?) the Mike Davis book on LA. Aren’t we … discovering something here? I too did “hard time” in LA, in 1978 and 1979, I think. I keep saying how much I liked it, but in reality I was lonely as heck. Those “LA Locus of Fear” books don’t come off as blindingly original, IMHO. One of the Theroux clones wrote one recently, to no great acclaim. The ur-LA. book of all time is Carey McWilliams’ Southern California, The Island in the Land.

Or so says Mr. Know-it-All.

I remember you and I both being terrified when Slate said we could discuss “trade publications.” Slate no doubt had in mind the classier examples of the genre, like Variety or the Hollywood Reporter, and not Platt’s Oilgram and Chemical Week, my former employers. But I realized that there is one trade publication I read and enjoy: Publisher’s Weekly. This week’s issue a case in point.

PW loves the gossipy new Paul (aka the Real Thing) Theroux book about his lapsed friendship with V.S. Naipaul. They also remark on Theroux’s “apparently effortless recall of conversations” (wink, wink) that prompts me to say: Read the Michael Wolff attack on Steve Brill in the current New York magazine!!! It was Wolff’s “apparently effortless recall of conversations” in his book Burn Rate that attracted Mr. Brill’s attention. But Wolff is firing back … this promises to be a good one.

More PW: They generally approve of The Woody (PW: “Balzac it’s not”), the new novel from Peter Lefcourt. Lefcourt gets high accolades here for The Deal (“funniest book ever written”–Alex Beam) and Di and I, about his fictional love affair with Princess Diana. (“A yuck on every page”–Alex Beam.) And elsewhere in PW, we see that celeb biographer Donald Spoto (I.Bergman, E. Taylor, Princess D.) “turns his considerable storytelling skills to the life of the one person who can clearly claim greater celebrity than the departed princess: Jesus.”

Does John Lennon know about this?