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Monday, February 2, 2004   |    Fiction

Writers-on-Writing Month

The New New York Times Book Review: This Isn’t Your Father’s New York Times Book Review!

Hey there, true-believers! Welcome to the new New York Times Book Review! Or, as we like to call it, N.Y.T.B.R. eXtreme! We’re reviewing books to the max!

That’s right, gone are the days of stodgy book reviews of boring, fancy-pants, highbrow “literature”, enjoyed only by snooty bespectacled professors with suede elbow patches on their corduroy jackets! No sir, not no more! This is N.Y.T.B.R. Max!

Now, right off the bat, I’d like to lay some fears to rest: We are not dumbening down the book review, and we are not stupiding it up. We are merely shifting our focus, because our marketing department tells us we’re not reaching the youth of America. And the youth of America is tomorrow’s today people. So, to cater to Generation: Next, we’ve stricken all 2-dollar words from our reviews! Also, I’ve filled the mint bowl on my desk with tabs of Ecstasy. Michiko Kakutani-1 has been reading ad copy aloud in the hallway, pantsless. And Laura Miller Mz. Millz has been sitting Indian-style in front of the elevator doors, watching the numbers light up, and yelling, “Shiny, shiny, shiny!” Yes, it’s fun times here at N.Y.T.B.R.: Miami.

As the Paper of Record Choice of the New Generation, we believe it is our duty to not just rock the vote, but to rap it and reggae it as well. We want to ask: “What’s going on?” and “Where is the love?” and other provoking questions that are otherwise only asked in the choruses of the hip-hop that’s so popular with the kids these days. That’s was being a newspaper’s all about: focusing on nonfiction (or NonFix as it’s been renamed). Nonfix is where the good stuff is: take a look at this week’s list of best-selling nonfix hardcover books. You’ll find some literary heavyweights like Pete Rose, Montel Williams, Michael Moore, Al “Fair & Balanced” Franken, Ellen DeGeneres, Bill O’Reilly, Michael Savage, and even some non-celebrities, too! These TV, film, and radio personalities are really the only ones out there telling it like it is, and as the Most Important Newspaper of All Time, this is the stuff on which we should be focusing. We’re sure this won’t be the last you’ve heard from Charlie Hustle!

But what about fiction you ask? Well, sure, we’ll still cover some fiction. We’ll probably read the Roths and Updikes and maybe even the Zadies, too, but what we’re really interested in is potboilery. We’ll be looking at the real stalwarts of modern lit: the Grishams, Koontzes, and Weisbergers. That’s right, we’re going to make air travel fun again!

Our own Janet Maslin J. Maz will provide rocking insight into some novelizations of blockbuster films, and Ms. Millz will look at the exiting, intriguing world of spyjinx that can be found in the new “Alias” series of books based on TV’s hit show starring Jennifer Garner.

In keeping our thumb on the pulse of America, we’ve fired all the rest of our fiction reviewers, and in their place, we’ll be running the book reports of Mrs. Einreicher’s 9th Grade English class. Talk about cheap! We think that these young Gen:Next reviewers will really bring a fresh perspective to our Book Review. Teens have insights into things like “rap-metal” and “japanimation” and, gosh darn it, anything with the word ‘teen’ on it just sells through the roof.

These are exciting times to be reading books, people. So, say good-bye to stuffy old Dickens! Teen N.Y.T.B.R. is all about what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next!

Please, people. We’re desperately trying to be hip. Please help us out. Humor us. Just take some X and pretend you like what you’re reading. We’re getting our asses kicked by Sunday Styles, for cryin’ out loud.

Look at the pretty colors! I can see through time!


W. Keller
Billy Keller
B. Kelz
The Kellman
Kill Bill

Dirt McGirt.