The media meme for Joe McGinniss' book on Sarah Palin was: this is just too mean. For the competing Palin book by Levi Johnston, former finacee of Bristol Palin, the line is: this is just too poorly written. From prudery to snobbery! Come on people, it's not about style, it's about substance--gossip.
Listen to these sentences! They sound like what would happen if you got the hockey team drunk and forced them to retell The Great Gatsby. Forget jumping off the page. They jump off the page, take your wallet and spray you with chloroform.They practically run screaming out of the building. At least that is what I would do if I had written them.To say that his writing style is inimitable would imply that someone wanted to imitate it. It is a pastiche of a parody of a pastiche.It is a cross between the dialogue attributed to shirtless men on horseback in those novels that you read at the beach and the grunting, barely intelligible noises one makes at the dinner table between the ages of 13 and 20. ..What's curious is that, even as he denies the Palin clan, Levi's prose bears resemblance to nothing so much as -- Sarah's own meandering verbiage.
"I loved every inch of her. I was about to make this statement with my hands when Bristol laid her hand over mine. It felt like a cold salmon. … My parents, she told me, are having another baby. She said the word parents with air quotes."
- That Bristol got pregnant on purpose to compete with her mom.
- That he was present for the birth of his son Tripp, which the Palins deny.
- Bristol said Levi wouldn't sign away parental rights "because it would look bad on paper."
- When Palin said her nomination to be vice-president was God's plan, it was "the first time I had ever heard her mention the fella. Whether the message originated from heaven or from Arizona, the content was the same."
- Levi was "too dumb" to use contraception.
- Bristol thought her career as an abstinence advocate was pretty funny. "My babe had now been transformed into a sexual-abstinence advocate... I told her it sounded sexy dirty to me." They laughed, then, "She caught her breath enough to tell me that, when her mom first mentioned this career possibility to her, Bristol asked her what abstinence was. She was just joshing me, making fun. She was collecting piles of money describing the horrors of teen pregnancy and before that, of course, teen sex. Which every single kid Bristol and I knew was engaged in. Give me a break."
- Bristol relationship with her mom was straight out of The Graduate. As Mimms writes, "Guess who was Benjamin?"
- Bristol lied when she told Levi she was on birth control.
- Palin wanted to adopt Bristol's baby to "avoid scandal."
- Willow Palin cusses a lot.
- They tried to keep the pregnancy secret, but Willow found the positive pregnancy test in the bathroom.
- Levi expects a 30 Years War with the Palins.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.