Private: Toby Young

Toby Young (How to Lose Friends and Alienate People) is this week’s Slate diarist:

In the Roaring ’20s, serious writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald came to Hollywood in the hope of becoming well-paid hacks. I’m a fairly well-paid hack who’s come to Hollywood in the hope of becoming a serious writer.

I didn’t read Young’s memoir, but trust me when I say that it’s the kind of book that divides opinion so much you don’t want to bring it up while people are drinking. One reviewer called it “a big lint-picking session“; another said it’s “a very funny book that’s also quite revealing about those elite segments of American media culture that orchestrate the stuff filtering down to the rest of the country.” (Slate link via Bookslut.)