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There’s a book out about Rin Tin Tin, the old dog-star of Hollywood, by that stuck-up New Yorker hack Susan Orlean. She’s best-known for writing the bestseller The Orchid Thief, which got adapted by lofty screenwriter Charlie Kaufman into a smug self-reflexive film called Adaptation starring Nicolas Cage as Charlie Kaufman the screenwriter trying to adapt The Orchid Thief for film, which just shows you how up its own ass this movie is. And guess who plays Susan Orlean in it? Meryl Streep. Yeah, the snootiest most high-culture over-Oscared WASPy revered actress alive. Amazing how those kind of “quality” people still get together, as if they all belonged to the same private club where they meet regularly for cocktails and lucrative business deals and deciding who will play whom in the film.

It’s very unfortunate that Susan Orlean should write a book about Rin Tin Tin, because I’m actually interested in reading a book about Rin Tin Tin. So I read hers. Battled my way through it, actually, against the tremendous obstacle of the author herself. There’s an awful lot of Susan Orlean messing up Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend. Every time you settle in to read about some charged moment in the life of an interesting German Shepherd, you find yourself swamped by the high-toned musings of Susan Orlean again.


October 28th, 2011 | Comments (54)

Extract: Mike Judge Fail

Extract is so bad its rottenness becomes a source of fascination, which is a good thing, because there’s nothing else to sustain your interest while the 89 minute dud drags by. It’s all Mike Judge’s fault, that much is clear….

September 6th, 2009 | Comments (10)