Yak Attack

A place to unwind and spend some time yakking.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Follow the leader, lemming-style

I see that Night by Elie Wiesel is still at the number one spot on Amazon.com. This proves, once again, what a pack of lemmings people are.

Don’t get me wrong—Night is an incredible book. Wiesel wrote it, as a young man, to describe his time in Auschwitz. Its lyrical, poetic quality has fanned the flames of literary debate for years—is Night fact or fiction—and contributed to the growth of narrative nonfiction. Because Wiesel possessed the ability to even write one word down about his excruciating time in a concentration camp, let alone bring an ethereal quality to his writing, he’s earned my respect.

What chaps my hide is the way celebrity status embodies an automatic stamp of approval. People reach out and read only what they are told to; Oprah knows all and if she says it’s good, it must be. Then the rush to buy it—I’m surprised that there weren't any OBC zombies in Shaun of the Dead. “Brains… I need brains. Oh, and a copy of Night. Thanks.”

Remember, these are the same brainiacs who bought James Frey's line that his book was 100% true. I hope they actually learn something by reading Night, but I have my doubts. I wonder how many OBC folks believe dogs can't look up. Sigh.


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