September 15, 2014

The latest blotter of author crime and alleged author crime


The scene of the (one of the) crime(s).

The scene of the (one of the) crime(s).

Surprising nobody, least of all the jaded private eyes at MobyLives (slogan: NO CASE OR TRIM SIZE TOO SMALL), the literary world is still a rogue’s gallery of reprobates, thieves, and charlatans. Here’s the latest:

Dinesh D’Souza, who is technically both a bestselling author and filmmaker, but definitely not a slime mold turned into a human by Ronald Reagan during an occult ceremony in the 1980’s, is in hot(ter) water, as reported by The New York Times. D’Souza, who earlier this year pled guilty to campaign finance chicanery, is set to be sentenced next week, and the prosecutor is pushing for a 10 to 16 month sentence, arguing D’Souza lacks remorse and has accepted no responsibility for his crimes. In a letter to the judge D’Souza claims that ““No good purpose would be served by locking me up”, however I’m guessing that if the judge did a wax rubbing of this letter he’d see, light but unmistakeable, a list of people from the notebook’s previous page to whom D’Souza is planning to compare himself to once he finishes his prison term. (The smart money’s on MLK and Thoreau, but feel free to weigh in.)

In an accusation sure to rock the LDS romance novel scene, the AP reports that prolific author Rachel Ann Nunes is suing a fellow Utah writer and middle-name-haver for plagiarism, claiming Sam Taylor Mullens ripped off her book, added sex scenes, and tried to sell it as her own. And let me assure you it gets weirder, including the gahhh-inducing detail that “[Nunes] said [Mullens] named a character after one of [Nunes’] seven children, making the added sex scenes particularly disturbing.”

The Times of Israel reports that a Czech municipal court has ruled that the Brno-based publisher Guidemedia is not guilty of publishing hate speech. The book in question is a collection of Adolf Hitler’s speeches, daringly titled Adolf Hitler Speeches, and will continue being published legally as a historical text, in a successful use of of the “this is business, not personal or Naziism” defense:

“The book is the flagship of our company. Hitler sells better than Coca-Cola,” one of the firm’s owners, Pavel Kamas, told the court earlier this week.”

And finally, in an update on the Wendy Davis book tour flap, the Houston Chronicle mentions that the Texas Ethics Committee is really not in the mood to be dragged in as the ref your pickup games of political football, so maybe don’t do that, Greg Abbott campaign.

(We at MobyLives are refusing to make the easy joke that the James Franco’s newly announced literary adaptations constitute crimes against art. We  are  above  such  things.)

Liam O'Brien is the Sales & Marketing Manager at Melville House, and a former bookseller.