Okay, I just had to repost this guy’s one-star review of Gladwell’s new book. Hilarious!
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I witnessed, in no less then three incidents, the derision that followed when Malcolm Gladwell’s “David and Goliath” was mentioned.
The first occurred in a bookstore with a stock of works from all over the world. They have two floors. It is located on 21st Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan. I asked the clerk for a copy of Gladwell’s latest. Even though the store was crowded he laughed out loud. I asked him what was so funny and he promptly yelled out, “The register is closed, everybody out!” Once the customers exited, he said he wanted to show me something.
In the back, he ushered me through a door. It was the stockroom. Far in the corner he showed me a stack of “David and Goliath” books. He explained a number of patrons returned it, vitriolic in their epithets against the work. He had to refund the unhappy customers and he was left with the aforementioned wobbly stack. When I asked how he could laugh about his loss of revenue he replied: he had read a copy and thought that his five year old nephew’s letters from his homeland of Pakistan showed more talent and imagination then what he had read in D & G. That said, he broke into uncontrollable laughter.
Last week, I was invited to a luncheon at Columbia University. One of the professors, Dr. Garibaldi, had set it up with my agent. At Columbia on the day of, there was a smattering of perfunctory small talk. Garibaldi went on about how I hit it (New Yorker essay) dead on and how the New Yorker hadn’t received a dressing down like that in at least the last twenty-years. I moved on to a new subject and told of the bookstore episode. At first a dead silence. Then one of the more easy going (I thought) professors, Dr. Wing, shouted out, “Why must this pseudo-fact-fiction Gladwellesque be published?! I simply sat back and thought. What is with this book?
The last incident happened at an internet café aptly named, The Cave. Located under the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, one is in perpetual darkness.
At another table, I overheard two young women talking about “David and Goliath”. The louder of the duo fairly shouted about the work, “It is truly a spectacle. A more annoying, cloying writer could not be assembled anywhere else. God bless the Queen and save us from her subjects!”
At that she broke into peals of laughter and with the glow of the computer monitor lighting her face and the dark back drop, she had much the look of a cackling witch. Her friend joined in and an employee came over to ask them to settle down. When they told him what they were laughing about, he started chuckling too. Then it was a contact high; people were literally rolling on the floor. By the time I left, the place was ready to come down in a cloud of raucous laughter.
Chris Roberts, Patron Saint of the Cackling Ones