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Rotten Eggers

If you really want to know about it, the first thing you should do is read the lousy book. I could go into it and all, about how everybody thinks AHWOSG is such a big deal, but you should probably just go and read the damn thing for yourself. What really kills me is that itís going to be made into a big-time movie with these big-time movie stars and all. I mean, if it was really as good as everybody thought it was, why are they letting a bunch of phonies out in Hollywood ruin it on screen? They want to put Tom Cruise in the goddamn title role? That kills me, it really does. The only trouble is, Iím not exactly sure how I really feel about the whole thing in the first place. I mean, I think itís a decent book, I really do. If you want to know the truth, I very nearly got goddamn choked up when I read it. I really did. And the writing can really get to you if you let it. You had to let it, though. I could if I sort of leaned back, or leaned into it, Iím not really sure which. But then it was like everything started moving too fast and Eggers got caught up in his own cresting wave of popularity. Old Eggers. Heís not that bad of a guy, really. Take McSweeneyís. Sure the place is lousy with phonies, but a couple of really good writers got a start there. Heís a very over-publicized bastard, Eggers. He really is. Maybe thatís what this whole movie deal will be, the final break of the wave. But heíll probably find some way to keep on riding it, even though heís practically turning himself into a goddamn parody.

The thing is, heís too smart not to see that heís done it to himself eventually. But guys like him, even though they're pretty smart and all, they never realize they're a parody until itís already happened to them. When he does finally see it, itíll be too late. I kind of thought it might already have happened to him, after I read his last book. But then I heard about the movie deal and all and it just seems like that must be whatíll finally do it. But you never know. Old bastards like Eggers always stick around longer than you expect them to. They really do.

The funny thing about it is, every time something like this happens, it makes me kind of sad that the books that should be made into movies never are. I know they would probably be horrible anyway and the whole thing would be laughable in the end, and everyone would wish that someone had stepped in to stop the crappy movie production in the first place. But that doesnít stop me from wishing it could still happen somehow, just with the right people and all. I donít know. Maybe thatís the wrong thing to wish for anyway. Movie people are always ruining the way people and places in books end up looking in films. Like with Spider last year. I know it wasnít the greatest book in the world or anything, but old McGrath created a palpably, yet subdued, psychotic atmosphere in the goddamn book, he really did. And Cronenberg is the kind of bastard that you expect can do the same. He is a guy that can really give you quality psychosis. Heís very good at it, he really is. You should see Crash if you want to see some classic Cronenberg direction. But Spider fell flat anyway. Part of it was that the whole book kept talking about how cloudy and sooty and dark the sky always was and then in the movie, Spider is there sitting on the bench in glorious sunshine. That killed me. Old Spider feeling paranoid and crazy and all on a nice, sunny afternoon.

Anyway, I can think of some other books that would probably be horrible as movies. Jake Gyllenhaal being way too potent a force for his own good and all. What a phony. He kills me. But my point is is that books rarely survive the transition from page to screen fully intact. Maybe old Eggers is counting on that, the bastard.

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