Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Reading books about magazines and specifically 'The Last Magazine.'

I wonder if The Last Magazine would have seen the light of day had its author Michael Hastings not died. It's one of those inside baseball views of the media from someone close to its heart that ends up making sure no one ends up looking good, least of all the narrator. If you want a loose idea of what and who it is about you can suss that all out here (though I'd love to know who the "Sarah Klein" character that supposedly was blogging for Gothamist in the early days is supposed to be).

I really liked the book, even though it deals with a time that no longer exists it is a time that I once did want to be a part of. It's also the only book I've read that does a decent job of catching what the exploding blog scene—even as a small subplot—was like during the early, early aughts without being condescending. I'd say this was purely a mainstream journalists 20/20 hindsight vision if it weren't for the fact that he participated in the Gawker / Gothamist scene back in the day and did so because he realized what future value it held even if his career did continue more in an investigative journalist longform track.

Who knows what would have happened had he lived? I hope that while The Last Magazine was written years after his death he would have had the courage to eventually publish it. It also makes me with he was still around because his narrative voice was strong and who knows what other novels he might have had in him?

This is my long, long way of saying I really enjoyed this book and think you might dig it too. Even if you could not care less about media inside baseball.

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