November 4, 2015
Nathan For You turns bogus book into Amazon bestseller
by Liam O'Brien
Recently, William Hughes at The AV Club confirmed one of my most deeply-held suspicions: That when a ridiculous-sounding book is rising on Amazon, it’s somehow due to comedian/insane genius/culture jammer Nathan Fielder of Comedy Central’s Nathan For You.
Blurring, as he so often does, the lines between earnest advice, comedy, and semi-criminal fraud, Comedy Central’s Nathan Fielder has helped propel a new fitness book up the ranks of Amazon.com’s sales charts. Currently sitting at #248 in Books,The Movement tells the story of fitness guru Jack Garborino, a childhood friend of Steve Jobs who spent years working with “jungle children” before stumbling onto the weight-loss secrets found in moving other people’s boxes and chairs.
If you watch Nathan For You, you probably know what’s coming next.
None of that’s true, of course; as anyone who watched this week’s episode of Nathan For You could tell you, Garborino’s a Los Angeles body-builder who thinks Steve Jobs worked at Microsoft, the book was ghost-written by someone (Craigslist scribe Austin Bowers) who’s never met him or a jungle child, and the whole enterprise was a cog in Fielder’s latest business scheme, convincing fitness nuts to work at a moving company for free as part of a bullshit exercise regimen.
The Movement, which as of this writing is listed at #193 on Amazon, and landed one spot ahead of Elizabeth Gilbert‘s latest book on their “Motivational Self-Help” bestseller list, is published via Amazon’s CreateSpace platform.
Most of the reviews also sound like they were written by people in on the joke (which, as we know, is where Amazon can get into pretty great/repugnant territory), and Nathan For You’s popularity continues to grow, so if you plan on fooling anyone into helping you move, better do it soon.
Liam O'Brien is the Sales & Marketing Manager at Melville House, and a former bookseller.