September 29th, 2010 / 1:28 pm

These Things May Dismay You

Snooki of Jersey Shore fame is going to publish a novel. I have, previously, expressed enthusiasm for Tyra Banks’s opus, Modelland and I don’t have a problem with celebrity books (I support them, in fact, not that it matters), but I admit I am struggling mightily to feel anything but a profound sense of hopelessness at the idea that a young woman who has read only two books in her life (Twilight and Dear John) is going to “write” a book.

Tucker Max has been on the New York Times bestseller list for 150 consecutive weeks and he has some advice for how you, too, can make that happen.

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  1. Matthew Simmons

      Dear Simon and Schuster,

      Seriously, fuck you.

      love, matthew

  2. Ryan Ridge

      Snooki’s Novel

      Chapter 1

      In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains.

  3. Hank

      Is it going to be a prequel to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” explaining how all those short, orange people got there?

  4. Trey

      I hope she compares The Situation’s abs to a grecian frieze.

  5. darby

      why is it a hopeless thing to want to write a book. everyone in the world should write a book.

  6. Roxane

      I absolutely agree that everyone should write a book. My sense of hopelessness is borne of what I imagine that book is going to be like given what I know about Jersey Shore (which I do, indeed, watch). Are you familiar with Jersey Shore? The chances of Snooki actually writing her book are, well, impossible.

  7. jereme

      people wouldn’t mind so much if snooki’s pussy wrote this book, i am guessing.

  8. darby

      ive never watched jersey shore. i guess i should watch it to better fill out my preconceived notions as to the potential literary merit of celebrities.

  9. Tanya

      I’d rather everyone in the world read a book instead. Or two. Or five. Or a hundred.

  10. Roxane

      Oh definitely. Jersey Shore is quite educational.

  11. Roxane

      I’d love to see that from a logistical standpoint.

  12. JustinTaylor

      Why should everyone in the world write a book? Should everyone in the world play classical piano? Should everyone in the world draw plans for a skyscraper? Should everyone perform in a production of Ibsen? Should everyone cater a vegan wedding? Should everyone translate Chaucer from the Middle English to contemporary Russian?

      Replace “write” with anything else and the intellectual bankruptcy of the proposition “everyone should” makes itself painfully obvious. Everyone is entitled to do karaoke; not everyone is entitled to play Carnegie Hall. Similarly, everyone is entitled to write in their diary–and nowadays blog. Not everyone is entitled to inflict themselves on the rest of the reading world–in fact, *nobody* is inherently entitled to do that. That right is exactly what writers fight to earn, and then to keep. But you don’t have to worry about this in the case of Snooki– the thing with her name on it will be book-shaped, but it will not be a book. Also, she will not have written it, and probably will not read it. Sucks, but that’s life under the crushing bootheel of our corporate-capitalist overlords.

  13. Matthew Simmons

      ah, to hell with it.

  14. Matthew Simmons

      Write away, Snooki. I’m fine with that.

  15. Roxane

      Let me clarify. Everyone who wants to write a book should write a book. Why not? People don’t have to read anything they don’t want to read and these things tend to sort themselves out.

  16. Matthew Simmons

      I like eggs.

  17. jereme

      because it muddles the blood of the elite.

  18. jereme

      i bet she has a tattoo.

  19. M Kitchell

      while the jersey shore thing seems/seemed inevitable, tucker max is one individual that i hate more than almost everybody else in the entire world.

  20. Guest

      I love books too, and I don’t give a fuck if every cast member of the Jersey Shore publishes ten volumes each of haiku. It doesn’t impact me in the slightest. In fact, I think that the worse mainstream entertainment gets, the more viable independent outlets become. I don’t think that it is coincidental that music on independent labels has increased in popularity during the same time that major label music was dire.

      As I mentioned, I don’t know anything about the publishing industry or its history, so I can’t refute a lot of what you’ve written. I’ll stand by my guess that the fact that companies are putting out horseshit books and are trying to make money is nothing new. I’m willing to concede that consolidation has allowed this to happen on a much larger scale than in the past.

      You seem positive that high-selling titles on a specific S&S imprint do not fund titles that sell poorly. I don’t have access to their balance sheet, so I can’t directly contradict you on that point, but I’ll retain my skepticism. I was hoping to glance over the S&S website to find a worthy small title to hold aloft triumphantly to prove my point, but I couldn’t find anything in the brief time that I looked. Maybe other houses would be a good example of this. Maybe Fox News profits in some byzantine corporate way paid for Justin Taylor’s book to come out. Again, I’m not connected to the industry at all so I don’t know.

      You wrote: “They should have trouble sleeping at night for putting out the books they do. They are the lifestyle accoutrements of empty brands like “Snooki.””

      I guess what I’m unclear on is why a book that you will never read bothers you more than, say, a t.v. show you will never watch, a purse you will never put a dog in, or a soda you will never drink. Or do you get this worked up over every trivial and empty thing in our culture?

  21. Roxane

      Yeah, Tucker Max is… odious. My dislike for him intensifies whenever I see him or his supporters try to justify the unjustifiable by saying, “he’s just brutally honest,” as if well, hell, honesty makes everything okay.

  22. Daniel Bailey
  23. Tony O'Neill

      well, someone will write a book, and snooki will put her name to it, which is slightly different to the idea that snooki will actually get down and dirty with her laptop. its really no more odious than sarah palin “writing” her book, if you think about it. actually much less odious, because at least snooki doesnt actually affect anything in a negative way (except maybe the ozone layer with all of that hairspray).

  24. I. Fontana

      There always exist books like these. They appeal to the sort of people who these books appeal to.

  25. Mykle

      Everyone should cater a vegan wedding! In Estonia!

      I think, tho, that the ghost writers are what make this kind of thing so obnoxious. That someone who we don’t think can write is in a position to hire a really good writer to pose as her in print, and that this sort of thing is neither illegal or even frowned upon, just seems evil. (i would actually be really curious to see snooki’s first draft, but we already know what to expect once the turd-polishers get done with it.)

      Prediction: the book will come out, it will sell a lot of copies to people who care a lot about vacuous television personalities, none of those people will remember anything they read in the book, the book will be remaindered in less than a year, snooki will fade — kicking and screaming — into obscurity, and some S&S agent will burn in hell. But I don’t think this book’s existence will preempt any sales of SCORCH ATLAS.

  26. Chester

      “Why should everyone in the world write a book? Should everyone in the world play classical piano? Should everyone in the world draw plans for a skyscraper? Should everyone perform in a production of Ibsen? Should everyone cater a vegan wedding? Should everyone translate Chaucer from the Middle English to contemporary Russian?”

      Replace “everyone” with the word vampire, and my answer here is: yes, they should!

  27. Shannon

      I hope her ghost writer gets paid really really well. Oh Simon and Schuster, you make me so sad.

  28. Guest

      good job, snooki

  29. Guest

      (Apologies if this was covered in the Tyra Banks post a while back; I didn’t read the comments of that one.)

      Justin wrote: “Not everyone is entitled to inflict themselves on the rest of the reading world[.]”

      This is dramatic. Anyone who buys or reads Snooki’s book will know precisely what he is getting. Nothing is being inflicted on anyone.

      Justin Taylor wrote: “Sucks, but that’s life under the crushing bootheel of our corporate-capitalist overlords.”

      Your book was published by Harper Perennial, which is an imprint of HarperCollins, which is owned by News Corp., which (according to Wikipedia) is the third largest media conglomerate in the world, so this must be a subtle joke that I’m missing.

      Are y’all under the impression that if Snooki’s book didn’t exist that the resources used in putting it out would be spent on things that you would want to read? I don’t have any connection to the publishing industry, but my guess would be that most literary fiction is not a money maker and that books by Snooki, or Tyra Banks, or Jesse Ventura allow big presses to put out literary fiction that might not sell as well. Or they could use the money to fill up Scrooge McDuck-esque pools of jewels and gold coins to swim in. I don’t know.

      Or is the complaint that people would read more literary fiction if Snooki’s book didn’t exist? Again, without having anything to back me up besides my intuition, that seems really far-fetched.

      Is there some other reason that I am missing for people getting worked up over this?

  30. darby

      Why should everyone in the world write a book? yes

      Should everyone in the world play classical piano? yes

      Should everyone in the world draw plans for a skyscraper? yes

      Should everyone perform in a production of Ibsen? no

      Should everyone cater a vegan wedding? no

      Should everyone translate Chaucer from the Middle English to contemporary Russian? yes

      you are confusing writing with publishing, or you are not separating things people do on their own to things that require filters to happen in order to be placed in front of somebody.

      i was responding to roxanes concern of hopelessness that a person, in her opinion, ill-qualified to write a book was going to write a book. my retort was meant to say that a person being ill-qualified to write a book should not deter that person from writing it. whether or not anything gets published is such a completely different discussion its not even worth talking about. there are filters in place to determine those things, but the primitive act of writing a book is what everyone in the world should do.

  31. darby

      she should start her own press. snooki books.

  32. stefan michael

      The crushing bootheel of our corporate-capitalist overlords aside (and I’d change crushing bootheel to usurpation and greed and overlords to criminals worm holing our government and culture), everyone in the world is not John Cage, but everyone in the world has the right to shut the fuck up for 4 minutes and 33 seconds. Only Borges is Borges. Although, he may have disagreed:

      “No one is anyone, one single immortal man is all men. Like Cornelius Agrippa, I am god, I am hero, I am philosopher, I am demon and I am world, which is a tedious way of saying that I do not exist.”
      – from “The Immortal”

      Then again, he may have foreseen what you are talking about:

      “I foresee that man will resign himself each day to new abominations, and soon that only bandits and soldiers will be left.”
      – from “The Garden of Forking Paths”

  33. Joel W Coggins

      So, the question now is… which of us will take the gig to ghost write the book?

      Honestly, I don’t think I would want to. Takers?

  34. Joel W Coggins

      So, the question now is… which of us will take the gig to ghost write the book?

      Honestly, I don’t think I would want to. Takers?

  35. Ryan Ridge

      Or: Snooki’s Bookies

  36. Matthew Simmons

      Somewhere at S&S, a person who used to really love and care about books decided to green light a book by Snooki. If that person can sleep at night, it is because they drink themselves to unconsciousness.

      That’s what gets me worked up. The depths of cynicism you get from a dying industry.

  37. Matthew Simmons

      I kind of think it is a little more odious, actually. I didn’t think this was possible, but I’m pretty sure Snooki is an emptier brand than Sarah Palin. I mean, they’re close and all.

  38. drewkalbach

      i feel good about snooki having a book. she is majestic on television and will be majestic in prose.

  39. drewkalbach

      i’m upset about all the cookbooks coming out this year.

      there are too many cookbooks.

      i think cookbooks need to be banned, they are polluting our culinary culture, they are allowing people to cook that shouldn’t be cooking, that have no taste or talent for it.

      cookbooks are a failure of the system to police the system. the rampant nature of cookbook-publishing is a clear sign of the decay in modern culinary tastes.

      the new cookbook destroys the old cookbook in a neverending cycle of new cookbook after cookbook, leading away from the traditional and into the neverbeforeseen realms of disgusting tasted paired with disgusting tastes.

      the cookbook must be banned and burned.

      i saw a cookbook rape my first born.

  40. Guest

      I don’t think that cynicism is limited to the publishing industry, nor do I think that the fact that the industry is dying is causing cynicism. Was there a time when big publishing houses only published what they believed in? Was there a time when huge companies didn’t care about profits? I can’t imagine there was.

      The executives at S&S who decided to publish Snooki’s book probably do still care about and love books. They also probably care about paying the mortgage, going on vacation, &c., and they decided that instead of adhering to some jejune standard of artistic integrity, they’d rather sell a ton of copies of a shitty book so that their company can make money and put out other books that they like and the executives can keep their jobs. I doubt very much that they have trouble sleeping.

      I’m sure that there are dozens of small presses that wouldn’t put out Snooki’s book, no matter what the reward, and I’m happy for them and I’m glad that they exist, but it seems like the real anger is at the American public for not buying and reading more good books. That isn’t Snooki’s fault.

  41. Matthew Simmons

      Just books.

  42. deadgod

      If there were a god, “Guest” would be Snooki.

  43. deadgod

      I wrote those stories – pretty good, eh?

  44. Sean

      Ok I do dismay you brought up Tucker on this site but who will argue with:

      Everything you just read about effective marketing doesn’t matter…unless you have content that people like.

      dat be skunk/word

  45. Joel W Coggins

      So, the question now is… which of us will take the gig to ghost write the book?

      Honestly, I don’t think I would want to. Takers?

  46. Guest

      Never understood why people get upset when some moron decides to write a book, and a publisher decides to publish the book because it will make money. The idea that only certain books should be written by certain people is sort of troubling, almost like a conservative argument for censorship.

  47. Owen Kaelin

      Is it a bad thing that I don’t know who Snooki is?

      I mean . . . I wanna take part in the conversation… .

  48. Stefanie

      I don’t know this person or the TV show, but probably a ghostwriter will write this book, no? I’m a ghostwriter, too and I have a lot of work, because most of the people in the world cannot even write 30 pages of a BA thesis. I think even to write ANY book, just filling pages to call it a book, is one of the most challenging things to do for most of the people. And that is maybe a reason to get mad at those persons, who just say, so, I’m also gonna write a book. I think that everybody should do it, but there’s just a few, who actually can do it.

      So why worry. I’m pretty sure, that there will be just the name of this person on the cover. There are more books written by ghostwriters than we can imagine (at least in Germany, I don’t know how this is in America). I work for this editor and they published an erotic novel by a turkish female author, which was supposed to be like “oooh, she’s muslime and she’s talking about sex”. This young girl couldn’t even write one sentence by herself, so the ghostwriters did it. I don’t even know if this is sad. It’s just how things are. Well, yes, it is sad, actually, very sad (sorry for my crappy englisch).

  49. Stefanie

      I mean “publisher”, not editor! I always get confused with this.

  50. Stefanie

      Oh, I haven’t read the other comments right below. So, yes, ghostwriting. It seems like somebody has to do this Snookie-ghostwriting-job.

  51. Justin

      do you really think that “these things tend to sort themselves out” ? I’m not sure I believe that…

  52. Roxane

      I do believe that, Justin. Bad books are published all the time and it’s definitely disturbing that books like a Snooki “novel” are published but I do not believe the publication of A Shore Thing or whatever it’s going to be called is going to prevent other, better books from being published. I am incredibly dismayed that this book is being published but I’ve never been one to begrudge the celebrity publishing industry. I also remain committed to the believe that cream rises to the top. I’ve said it here before and I will say it here again. Good books tend (not always but a lot of the time) tend to find a way.

  53. Matthew Simmons

      Kids, let me tell you the story about how I met your mom…

  54. Guest

      fuck cookbooks, man

      fuck them shits so hard

      fucking bullshit, man

      fucking bullshitman

  55. Sean

      If people want to write a book, why can’t they? Doesn’t mean the book is going to be published. Or if it is, so what? Can’t they write because they enjoy the intellectual play of writing? It means something to them.

      Analogy: I marathon. Tens of thousands marathon every year. 26.2 long miles.

      I’m pretty fast, others are pretty slow, and then much faster than me, and very fast, and turtle slow, etc., the full range–but NONE of us are elite marathoners. It’s not our profession. No Olympic medals, etc.

      So should we not run a marathon, something that is fulfilling to us? The act, the goal, the THING.

      Let us run our damn marathon. Life is short and it gives us joy.

      Let the people write!