Ooooh, Steve Almond doesnt know who hes messing with. The first chapter of his fifth book -- the hilarious, freewheeling memoir Not That You Asked: Rants, Exploits, and Obsessions -- kicks off with a series of trash-talking letters to Oprah Winfrey. Yeah, thats right, Almond takes on the high priestess of book sales.
Why are we worshiping her? Shes the Wal-Mart of hope! Shes such a fucking phony piece of shit! But shes the most important figure in literature today. And shes a fucking talk show host! the former New Times staffer marvels during a recent phone interview. Its because of the culture were in. I think if more people were forced to read, wed be a lot fucking happier. But unfortunately, until we run out of oil, thats not going to happen. So part of my job is to make these book readings fucking interesting, he says. Almonds come a-visiting to share passages from Not That You Asked, which covers everything from sex to sports to literary fame to parenthood, right back around again to his favorite topic, sex. Of course. Almond excels in the kind of erotica that arouses and amuses. His aim is an equal share of both, as it is for tonights event. My goal is to make sure the guys I play poker with are going to get it and enjoy it. Its important to think about literature, but we can have a fucking good time and not just be elitist, eggheaded assholes about it. Preach on, preacher. Join the chorus of Almond fans tonight.
Tue., Oct. 2, 8 p.m., 2007