Everything is wrong with me
Thursday, April 22, 2004
I saw a woman on the subway this morning reading a book titled, Thugs and the Women Who Love Them, Part 1.

I don't have a joke here, but I have some questions:

- There are multiple parts to this? A whole series about thugs, and the women who love them? Can you really get a whole series out of this topic? How much can you say about thugs and the women who love them (then again, I've gotten two months out of "I'm fat" and "I get no ass")? Where do I sign up to have each new part mailed to me as soon as it's released?

- I am fascinated by "ghetto lit" (not my term). Are there whole book stores that exclusively sell ghetto lit? I checked on Amazon.com, and not only do they have this book, but thirty-nine people have reviewed it. To put that in perspective, six people have reviewed Hegel's Philosophy of History, twelve have reviewed Nietzsche's Human, All Too Human, and twenty-three people reviewed Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn. Here's what one reviewer, of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers, said:

THUGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM introduces us to three young women who have high aspirations in life. They also share a love of "thugs". We meet Angel, a law student who is dating Snake, a pimp. Kyra, an aspiring doctor, who is dating Ty, a drug dealer, but still harbors unresolved feelings for her first love, Marvin, another drug dealer who almost ruined her life. Last, there is Jaz, a chemistry major who dates, Faheem, a liquor storeowner. What Faheem does not know is that Jaz has her own lucrative, yet illegal business on the side.

Wahida Clark's debuts novel is an entertaining, graphic, somewhat erotic look at the streets. The book is a drama-filled quick read that will leave you wanting more. My only criticism is that names on the back cover of the novel do not correlate to the characters, which for me was a bit confusing. Nevertheless, THUGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM is a must read for those who enjoy gritty, "street" novels. I look forward to future works from Wahida Clark, including the sequel to THUGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM, Every Thug Needs a Lady.

I'm not going to talk about the subject of the book, because it's just too easy. But when the only complaint you have is that the names on the back cover do not correlate to the characters (was this a typo?), do we even need a National Book Award ceremony? Shouldn't we just give the award to Wahida Clark right now, and save everyone the trouble?

- I'm interested to know who writes these books. Ghetto Lit, as well as those trashy romance novels that my mom, aunts, and grandmom read, make a ton of money, because books like these are easily and quickly produced. My question is, are these written by actual authors? I envision giant publishing houses that have a bunch of writers cramped in a small, damp, windowless room, pounding away on ancient typewriters, each churning out a trashy romance a week, slapping a cover on them, and sending them out to bookstores. And I think, "Damn it, that's a good fucking idea."

Maybe I should write a book in the ghetto lit/trashy romance vein. It could be about a man named, um, Joel, who spends his days toiling away at his 9-5 job, and his nights as a arsonist-per-hire, burning down homes and businesses so that his clients can collect big insurance checks. And he has two roommates who are also in the crime underworld: Dan, a professional kidnapper who claims that he can kidnap anyone, anywhere, at any time, and Ryan, an arms dealer, specializing in semi-automatic hand guns. Though all three are successful at what they do and have all the money, power, and respect any man could ever want, they are missing one thing: love. Enter Misty, the saucy barmaid who works at the pub where Joel, Dan, and Ryan gather at the end of the night to discuss their daily "activities." Joel begins to fall madly in love with Misty, but there is only one problem: she is in love with Dan (Ryan takes a back seat from here on out because he is gay). What unfolds is the greatest tale of love, vengence, betrayal, homosexuality, internet pornography, violence, and nudity the world has ever known and will ever know. Coming to bookstores this summer, Jason Mulgrew's debut novel, So Help Me God If I Catch You Fucking Around with Misty I Will Light Your Ass on Fire and I Can't Believe Ryan's Gay! Pre-order your copy today!

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