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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Last Magazine: A Novel

The Last Magazine, by Michael Hastings, caught my attention when I heard that Mr. Hastings, a prolific journalist, sadly passed away before the publication of his first and only novel.

The world is going to hell in a handbasket, genocide is ruling the Middle East, and all the managing editors at The Magazine want from their ace correspondent are stories on mobile phone markets. What was once the most influential source of news for the nation has now resorted to stories that please the masses. Michael Hastings, a young intern at the magazine, wants to be a star journalist, but he must choose between the reporter who will stop at nothing to reveal the truth and the editors of The Magazine that could break Hastings into the field.

We all remember what it's like to be an intern. You had that one co-worker you looked up to every day, wanting to emulate. You loved your place of business and wanted to be there early and stay late and work there forever. You were smitten. No one could do ill. (Then you started actually working and were all like, What the hell was I thinking?) Young Michael Hastings is just like that. You can feel his love of the publication, his admiration for everyone there, forgetting that everyone puts on their pants one leg at a time. I will talk about all the things I loved about this book, but really, it was the harking back to my intern days that really held on to me throughout this book.

I also loved the honest-to-goodness snark of this novel. It was no-holds-barred, flat out, in your face honesty told with sardonic wit. Michael Hastings wrote about a fictional character named Michael Hastings that is in no way shape or form supposed to be him, because of course he would never spill the secrets of his own journalistic past (wink, wink). It is so very meta and worth the time spent reading it. I love an insider's look at just about every industry, because after we step aside and move away from the glamor and the glitz of journalism's heyday, the truth is that behind the business there are people. People who make decisions that are maybe not the best for everyone involved, but at the end of the day, we all have to make the decisions that we feel are best for ourselves, our jobs, and our employees. Regardless of the cost.

Cheers, eh?

For purchase below.

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