Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit, by Joseph Epstein

Unpleasant book about gossip. While Joseph Epstein often writes about topics I am interested in, such as the social implications of gossip, or class structure in America, he seems such a snob and a jerk, and this was the most offensive yet of his name-dropping, nasty books.


vinnie said...

I have not read the book. Just noticed it on the NPR site. It looks humorous so why would it be unpleasant?

Lexi said...

Well, what made me cringe was that he used some personal anecdotes as examples of gossip, and the thing was, it seemed 1. terribly indiscreet of him to use personal information about his friends and acquaintences in that way, and 2. he was very name-droppy about it, too! There was one particular blind item about a famous dead American woman author, who supposedly slept with her son- Oedipus indeed- but it just read to me as nasty, to spread such a story about and leave readers uncomfortably guessing about the identity of the troubled writer and her traumatized son...
Parts of the book were funny, to be honest, but still, it left a bad taste in my mouth, and I wouldn't recommend it...
That said, I complained so much about it that a few of my friends have said they want to borrow it, so maybe it will be a success!
If you read it, I'd love to know what you think of it!
Thank you Vinnie!