The gossip from Frankfurt, where international rights to books are bought and sold during a traditionally ribald and booze-sodden week every October, is beginning to trickle in as the fair draws to a close. It is all lame. There's no "big book" this year, only a "big story" about the dissolution of British agency PFD, whose 85 employees simultaneously quit, leaving clients like Ruth Rendell unmoored. FSG editor Lorin Stein, who, according to our inbox, is a "notoriously arch shithead" and a "boat-shoe wearing schmuck," let Times book lady Motoko Rich follow him around as he played hooky from the fair to pick apples in the Rhine Valley and attended dinners that found him "carving slabs of pork ribs and sampling the local apple wine. ('It's wretched,' he declared after the first sip.)" Something interesting must have happened, though, at the notorious Canongate party?
As far as we can tell: no. Jamie Byng, the long-haired Scotsman whose rich stepfather helped him buy the Canongate publishing house when he was around 25, is well known for DJ-ing and occasionally disrobing at this party, but he kept his clothes on this year. Rumor has it, he's keeping things straitlaced because he's in the middle of trying to sell the company.
Otherwise, things seemed to have been pretty much par for the course. We heard a tale of Grove publisher Morgan Entrekin and some other usual suspects carousing till 5 a.m. every night in the Hof, but that is just sad at this point. It's not 1987 anymore, or even 1997. Go home to your wives!