Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dick

I was recently looking at Dick Cavett's latest book Brief Encounters.  It sounded interesting--a guy who interviewed so many fascinating people telling us behind-the-scenes stories.  But it's not that.  Not really.

Instead, this is essentially a reprinting of web articles he wrote for The New York Times--pieces barely worth reading the first time.  Yes, he often writes about names he's known, but his maundering, precious style takes one-paragraph anecdotes and turns them into pages of nothing.

As an example, in a piece about Arthur Godfrey we get this paragraph on something tangential:

This dumbbell notion has been around since I learned to read and has the durability of the great pyramid at Giza.  Sure, there's plenty of schadenfreude (all four syllables, please) around, but it's not evil press monsters who, like those envying Greek gods, like to see the mighty tumble; it's us.  Envious us.

So he's gone off on a jag regarding something we barely care about, but makes sure to drop references to ancient Egypt and Greece, not to mention a German word he insists be pronounced properly--in our heads, I guess.

250 pages of this aren't worth it to get to the nuggets.

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