Satire. I first noted Michael Hastings’ writing when his profile of General Stanley McChrystal in Rolling Stone gathered widespread attention. I was aware of his death in an automobile crash last year. When I heard that his widow found a completed novel in his files, morbid curiosity led me to read it. In The Last Magazine, Hastings satirizes the newsweekly of 2002, around the birth of its irrelevance to journalism. The antics of the characters are hilarious and wicked. The fact that Hastings worked at Newsweek makes it easy to see the dotted lines between his fictional characters and the crew he worked with. I wonder that if he lived, he might have made the connections less transparent. Readers who pay attention to journalism are those most likely to appreciate the satire.
Rating: Four-star (I like it)
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