The Time Alice Hoffman's Review Drove Richard Ford into a Gun-Wielding Rage

In a comment thread from a post earlier tonight about Alice Hoffman, commenter PromQueen mentioned that Richard Ford once shot up one of Hoffman's books after she "wrote nasty things" when she reviewed his work for the New York Times.

Turns out the story is true. Here's what Ford, talking about his book The Sportswriter, told the Guardian in a 2003 interview:

"People had written me off. When the book came out it just took a while to make its way. It didn't happen overnight. It got bad reviews — that's the book that Alice Hoffman wrote nasty things about in the New York Times."

Ford's run-in with Hoffman, with whom he shared a publisher, has become legendary. In retaliation for her criticism, Ford shot a hole through her latest book and posted it to her. "Well my wife shot it first," says Ford, rather proudly. "She took the book out into the back yard, and shot it. But people make such a big deal out of it - shooting a book - it's not like I shot her."

We're not sure if we should feel sympathetic toward Hoffman or loathe her even more after learning this? Then there's this other question burning in our mind right now—What the hell is wrong with these people?

The review by Hoffman that provoked Ford and his wife to shoot up Hoffman's book can be read here.

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