· It's Friday. Go grab a root beer or two and enjoy Ghostland Observatory at the Henry Fonda, Helmet at the Key Club or The Sword at the El Rey.
· Zombie Strippers at the Nuart. Mind = blown.
· Alex P. Keaton doppelganger Dana Vachon presents Mergers + Acquisitions at Book Soup. Now in convenient paperback form!
In which young literary man, Mergers and Acquisitions author, and former J.P. Morgan analyze-r Dana Vachon sneaks into the Bear Stearns cafeteria, where lunch costs more than a $2 share! Includes vaguely sexual details such as "'Abandon all hope, ye who lunch here!'...it's written on the face of everybody except the press woman from JPMorgan. She's tall and blond and beautiful and wearing a white suit, as if to send a message. And she's moving through this lobby as if it is the land of opportunity, and for her, it is." With dignity lost, all that's left is some Mies Van der Rohe chairs. Life coaches are standing by. [Slate]
Continuing to exploit his brief [Ed. Note: This is brief? We should all be so lucky!] moment in the sun via a freelance magazine career, Dana Vachon pops up in the September issue of Departures, which you only get if you are in possession of an American Express Platinum or Black ("Centurion"?) card or a dentist. Dana's story is about a former J.P. Morgan analyst (like Dana!) who left the firm to pursue the quixotic dream of becoming a gajillionaire by starting an obscure, high-end liquor company in Brazil. So far, he's not having much luck. Anyway, Dana's contributor's bio (click to enlarge!) is a masterful stroke of image creation.
Dana Vachon is parlaying his short-lived stint at J.P. Morgan and brief moment in the literary spotlight into a career writing about Wall Street for women's magazines. Take this month's effort, a 5-page spread in Marie Claire called "A Field Guide to Wall Street's Women": the Social Commando, the Ivy Beleaguered, the Nuptialista, and the Big Swinging Chick. What does each of these women tell us about Dana?
In this month's issue of Duke University's alumni magazine, much-ballyhooed debut novelist Dana Vachon mulls the disjunction between the book he thought he'd written and the book that most everyone else (except one of us!) thought he wrote: "As much as I was tempted to write 5,000-word riffs on greed, it does me no use if you close the book, right? I know I've said it before, but I honestly believe it: Vox populi, vox dei." One wonders, though, exactly what "populi" Dana's referring to here. The 8,405 people who, according to Bookscan (which only tracks about 70% of retail outlets), have bought the book in the five months since its publication? Well, maybe they are the voice of God. Anyway, the article also contains a shocking revelation. You know that Times Night Out With Dana? Turns out, he was faking being a douchebag at his publisher Riverhead's behest!
Speculation has been rampant on how Jay McInerney broke his foot. How could he who carries the mantle of downtown literature do his job when hobbled by a mangled gam? Dana Vachon weighed in unhelpfully when Radar nosed around. And finally McInerney himself explained. We should have known, it happened at the Waverly Inn. It involves summer truffles and for some reason, the dropping of 16 names and nearly as many acute accents. (Bernard-Henri Lévy, a French TV fellow named Frédéric Beigbeider.) Did you know that the Waverly is something of a buffet of literary-star-fuckers?
I-banking blogger turned debut novelist Dana Vachon's roman a clef Mergers and Acquisitions was published, to much hullabaloo here and even a little bit of hullabaloo elsewhere, on April 5. Today, we looked up its sales using Nielsen Bookscan (which only tracks approximately 70% of retail outlets). We predicted it would have sold around 8000 copies—in keeping with Ben Kunkel's Indecision about two months in. But not quite. According to Bookscan, it has sold 6425 copies.
Doree and Nikola headed to the Puck Building last night for a Paris Review fundraiser. Their account, and photos, follow.
There are certain ways that one announces one's place in the social pecking order. Dalton or Spence. Summers in Nantucket, winters in Palm Beach. Really all out is the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For those truly interested in becoming a part of the literary establishment, there is the Paris Review and its annual gala. Most parties for the quarterly literary journal take place at its offices in Tribeca and are generally attended by the expected assortment of nattily attired lower-level publishing types and a couple of famous writers enticed by the free drinks or the comely assistants who drink too many of them. But the Revel, as the annual benefit is called, is an entirely different animal. Tickets started at $500 and one was welcome to purchase a table for $50,000, which is the annual salary of two assistants.
It's going to be a warm and sunny weekend, which is a good thing considering that you're not going to be indoors reading the Sunday New York Times. If the Big Three sections (Arts, Books, Mag) are any indication, you'll quickly scan the sports scores and then head out to the park for some ultimate frisbee or whatever. So now we will helpfully describe to you, rapid-fire, what you'll be skipping over so you can sound all smart next week. You're welcome!
I am going to use this column to do something I will never be able to do again—convey my first impressions of intensive Gawker-reading. Until I was asked to consider taking on this job, I had been only a casual reader, mainly clicking on the Stalker map to track the whereabouts of Kelly Ripa (Kelly: I know you love me! Why do you insist on playing these games?). Since that day, I have read more Gawker than is typical of any but the fruitlessly employed and Kurt Eichenwald's lawyer.
The author needed to meet some very important person from the world of publishing, and his tightly-wound editor let him know it by waving frantically and then physically dragging him over to the corner of the bar. Dana Vachon had been born wealthy and healthy and handsome and he was right to view himself as entirely blessed, especially considering that his first novel, Mergers & Acquisitions had already gone to a second printing that very day. No one wore costumes on the night of his book party at Felix, that Eurotrash magnet on West Broadway, but there was no need for costumes to have a masque ball. Everyone knew their role and played it.
As those who (for some reason) care may recall, no one over here can agree about anything regarding Dana Vachon's debut novel, Mergers & Acquisitions. Crap? Genius? Sign 'o the times? Horseman of apocalypse? Honestly, it's been tearing our office apart. Because the book party is tonight—more on that tomorrow!—we made Alex and Emily get together to work it all out. This sort of thing will be mainly of interest to those who first have an interest in books (cutting out most of you!) and, second, those who have read the book or are interested in so doing. (There go most the rest!) There are a few minor SPOILERS, so keep that in mind if, but other than that it's like listening in on a book club. And we all know how fascinating that is!
Thanks to our advertisers, who respect the sanctity of nature. Interested in joining their ranks? More info is here. Also! How exciting. This week you can enter to win a copy of the hot new novel everyone (here) is talking about: Mergers and Acquisitions! Anyway: "Are you a character in Mergers and Acquisitions? Enter to win a free copy and find out for yourself!" More info at www.jsspenser.com. To enter, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Mergers Contest before Tuesday, April 10th. An email will be picked at random to win. By emailing your entry, you agree to our Contest Rules.
You might have seen in Variety that Dana Vachon's Mergers & Acquisitions has been acquired by a film production company "in a deal worth high six figures." (Related: Our Emily Gould is in the bathroom right now, bringing up an amount of vomit in the high six liters.) You might also have noticed, as we did when we rolled out of bed this morning, that Mergers & Acquisitions, a book that we have been prattling about regularly, is being advertised on Gawker today. We have also found out you might also see some sort of sponsored contest here for it tomorrow. You might have some questions about advertising and editorial on Gawker. So might we!
It wasn't just Henry the Intern looking foxy at Arianna Huffington's party on Friday night. Men's Vogue fella Hud Morgan was there, too, in a blue blazer, a french cuffed gingham shirt, Nantucket red trousers and a pair of velvet monogrammed slippers. (Sockless, of course.) Mr. Morgan said the shoes "had soles that cost more than your entire closet" but later recanted, because of course he got them for free. (And: was this a "Kennedy clambake in Hyannisport"? one attendee wondered. We just wonder if he can't mate up with similarly-fashioned Dana Vachon. Think of the mix-and-match outfits they could create! It's like preppy Grranimals.) In any event, Mr. Morgan, for some reason, decided to steal former AM NY dating columnist Julia Allison's cellphone.
What sort of woman reads Dana Vachon's Mergers & Acquisitions? Meet Jessica, a web editor at Conde Nast. Jessica was recently spotted by Bill Cunningham on her "lunch break" in Bryant Park with the season's two must-have accessories: this $34 H&M print, and Mergers, the rollicking debut novel that's sure to be seen in parks and on subways throughout the summer. "Normally I don't read books with big words," says Jessica, "but I can't resist a Lit Boy with a non-ethnic nose and a background in banking!" Now that's some fine print indeed!
And now, a word from those of us who are actually threatened by the size of Dana Vachon's $650,000 advance. Or who, at least, think that publishers dole out such advances to highly marketable youngsters at the expense of real novels by real writers— who don't at all feel that Vachon is "the best pure writer to have emerged from the blogosphere" (we've actually read his entire book!), and who don't know him personally and also don't often find "affable Westchester goofiness" adorable in anyone. So! Today's Observer semi-takedown: predictable, yes, but right in at least one important respect. By underlining greasy eminence Jay McInerney's blurbing of both Indecision and Mergers & Acquisitions and dubbing Vachon this year's Lit Boy, Lizzy Ratner makes the point that writing a Bright Lights homage has basically become a literary genre unto itself. What is it about these Lit Boys' books that make them so irritating yet so compelling? Well, maybe Julia Allison, who said that the book made her want to fuck Dana Vachon, is onto something. YES, I JUST SAID THAT.