THERE'S 1000 STORIES IN THE CITY OF GOODREADS - THIS IS ONE OF THEM - Yes, Another Dreadful Reviewer/Author Encounter
I surfaced into consciousness unwillingly like a resurrecting Jesus with too much alimony to pay. A slap to the chin and I remembered whose cleancut chiselled features were going to be framing the next supercilious question.
"Feeling better, Mr Bryant?" Yes, of course. It was The Don. But I wasn't going to go quietly.
"Not really, you post-modern gargoyle of unmeaning. You can take your silvery convolutions of ungrammatical feverdreams and shove them where the sun has never shone in a cavern measureless to man down to a sunless sea, O Felchmeister of the English tongue."
Crack. That was my head bouncing off the dingy walls of whatever foul rag and bone shop DeLillo had me banged me up in.
"Less of your mouth, and more of mine," he sneered.
I felt two pairs of strong arms grip me from each side. I caught a glimpse of DeLillo's vile acolytes. Just as I guessed. Steve Erickson on one side and yep, the notorious transvestite Bret Easton Ellis (“Bretsy” to his friends, of which there aren’t any) on the other. They were giggling like schoolgirls.
“Oooh, the things he said about me, and in public!”
“Oooh, let’s do page 149 and then page 301!”
"You won't get away with this," I grunted.
"We will, you know, we aren't in the YA business and we're not going to blog about this!" hissed Bretsy.
The Don told them to shut up and they squeaked into silence. It was pretty clear to me that there were American postmodern novelists and there was The Don. His very eyebrow had been reviewed ecstatically in the NYRB more times than all the others' entire sets of genitalia. And they knew it. And now he was heating up a pair of ordinary garden secateurs over a pile of remaindered early Franzen novels ( the ones before Oprah spotted him).
“Snip snip, Mr Bryant. One snip for every nasty little thing you said about me in your nasty reviews, and one more for encouraging your friends to mock me in surrealistic boxing match fantasies, and a final little snip for my two good buddies who have been really quite hurt by the dreadful things you say. I suppose you wish us all to write like your precious but sadly dead Raymond Carver? Hmm? ‘And then this sad alcoholic fell over and then this other sad alcoholic went shopping for a mop. The end.’ Is that it? That’s how you want us all to write?”
I was about to demolish his crude travesties of my crude travesties of his and his good buddies’ rancid fictions – I had vowed wild horses wouldn’t get me to remind him that I’d given five stars to Libra – but the application of the secateurs to my dorsal extremeties put an end to rational thought. I heard the terrible giggling of Bretsy – “Just one more finger, please! Hee hee!” and I pitched back into the welcome abyss of no more book reviews ever.