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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Monday, December 17, 2012 10:33 am
Hostile Questions: James Greer
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

James Greer has led a life ripe for the hostile questioning. He’s a former editor of Spin magazine. (Magazines? Ha! Look how those turned out!) He’s the screenwriter behind several films, including Max Keeble’s Big Move and Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector. (The jokes write themselves!) He’s the author of several books, including the finely wrought novels The Failure and Artificial Light. (Who cares how wrought is your finery!) Oh, man, I’m really to tear this Greer guy apart!

But wait. Hang on. Greer is also a former member of the band Guided by Voices? Otherwise known as THE GREATEST BAND OF ALL TIME? And he wrote Guided by Voices: A Brief History, my personal bestest favoritest music biography? And I have his autograph on my rare vinyl copy of the GVB live album For All Good Kids? And we’re practically like best friend soul mates future collaborators roommates brothers for life? No, Mr. Greer, I insist. YOU be hostile to ME.

Straight from ground zero, X marks the spot, Greer plays a real slick movie move through his evil speakers.

Just who do you think you are?

A lazy, undisciplined, fair-to-middling solitaire player. Who can’t shuffle cards. Or gargle.

Where do you get off?

Arcadia. Soon.

What’s the big idea?


What is your problem, man?

My next door neighbor is a loud talker and sometimes even plays music on her radio, which I find unreasonably annoying. I can’t write when there’s noise of any kind, especially music. People who write to music, or have music playing while they write, are always terrible writers. I can prove this in any court of law. The exception is people who are writing music. Then it’s necessary to have music playing so as to have something to steal.

Haven’t you done enough?




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