by Michael Hastings
Michael Hastings’s roman a clef about his days as a young intern at Newsweek magazine is very much a product of his generation: full of snark, cynicism, and — man, I’m getting tired of this one — “irony.” Hastings, who famously brought down General Stanley McChrystal with a Rolling Stone article, in Magazine creates thinly veiled characters that skewer former real-life colleagues like Fareed Zakaria and Jon Meacham, exposing their gung-ho support of Bush’s war in Iraq, and revealing how ego and career trump ethics and morality in the world of Big Media.
But Hastings the news reporter’s book is short on motivation and depth of character, which are the novelist’s bread and butter. Are the editors he mocks truly so one-dimensional and without, apparently, any redeeming qualities? Hastings’s novel is not, however, short on something else: extremely graphic, off-putting descriptions of one character’s sex fantasies. Weird. And yuck.
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