'Shattered Glass' It Ain't

Columbus Alive | December 15, 2005
As real journalist turned pseudo-journalist turned author Tom D’Antoni knows well from his time in the checkout line tabloids, sometimes all you really need to sell something is a sensationalistic enough title, contents be damned. And you don’t get much more sensationalistic than "Rabid Nun Infects Entire Convent" (Villard), the title of D’Antoni’s new book, taken from the headline of one of the stories he made up for The Sun.

Like many of the best tab stories, there isn’t too much to the book beyond the banner title, as D’Antoni reprints over twenty of his articles with little introductions which go into (not enough) detail about his journey to The Sun, the pleasures of seeing his editors finding photos of people he’d completely made up, his interview on Oprah and how dirty writing stories like “Man sells human bodies from chemical disaster to starving Ethiopians as meat” made him feel.

While the original material sandwiching the stories is pretty weak—it’s awfully vague and repetitive—the articles themselves should appeal to anyone who regularly giggles at the covers of The Weekly World News. The usual unusual suspects are all included, from space aliens (“Aliens force kids to spend perpetual Christmas on space station”) to Bigfoot (“Bigfoot’s foot found!”) to Elvis (“Villagers at shrine worship statue of Elvis”), plus some peculiar obsessions of D’Antoni’s, like people subsisting on strange diets, of wood, clothing or each other.

From the sounds of the flimsy biographical sections, D’Antoni likely has a rollicking book about his time in the tabs to write, but this, unfortunately, just isn’t it.

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