Sunday, June 20, 2004

Book Review Review

Read Michiko Kakutani’s review of Bill Clinton’s My Life. Ms. Kakutani pretty much hoses it.

It devolves into a hodgepodge of jottings: part policy primer, part 12-step confessional, part stump speech and part presidential archive, all, it seems, hurriedly written and even more hurriedly edited.


“My Life” reads like a messy pastiche of everything that Mr. Clinton ever remembered and wanted to set down in print; he even describes the time he got up at 4 a.m. to watch the inaugural ceremonies for Nigeria’s new president on TV.

Well, very few autobiographies are neat pieces of writing – that’s what fiction is for. And I doubt that anybody who buys the book will be doing so on the basis of a review, either good or bad.

I find it interesting that the book was reviewed by Ms. Kakutani – she has the reputation of being the toughest book critic in the country. Maybe that’s a good thing; the VRWC can’t complain that the New York Times gave the book a pass.