No match for red-hot in­ter­est in ‘Fire and Fury’

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - ARTS - Ben Ter­ris

the first ex­cerpts ap­peared, the book was ranked No 1 in sales on Ama­zon.com. And even dur­ing a week that Trump threat­ened to jail a for­mer Clin­ton aide and press a but­ton that would an­ni­hi­late North Korea, Thurs­day’s White House press brief­ing was dom­i­nated by ques­tions about the book.

A great de­bate waged over whether Fire and Fury was more damn­ing or damnable. Were the anec­dotes all ac­cu­rate? Is it true that Trump can barely read? Do his staffers re­ally think he’s ba­si­cally an over­grown child? Does it mat­ter if the book turns out just to be mostly true? Does any­thing mat­ter?

This has be­come the big­gest must-read Wash­ing­ton book in a gen­er­a­tion.

The pres­i­dent saw to that when he threat­ened to sue the au­thor and pub­lisher, which only en­cour­aged them to push up the pub­li­ca­tion date by four days.

He had ear­lier boosted its pro­file when he sent a cease-and-de­sist let­ter to his for­mer chief strate­gist Steve Ban­non, a ma­jor source for the book.

And he pushed it over the top just hours be­fore the book hit the shelves by tweet­ing: “I au­tho­rised zero ac­cess to White House (ac­tu­ally turned him down many times) for au­thor of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions and sources that don’t ex­ist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what hap­pens to him and Sloppy Steve!”

It could go down as the great­est un­in­ten­tional mar­ket­ing cam­paign in his­tory.

Early on Thurs­day evening, Kramer­books an­nounced it would start selling copies of Wolff ’s book at mid­night, nine hours be­fore the text would be avail­able to down­load via Kin­dle, and thus a rare case of pa­per be­ing faster than dig­i­tal.

The le­gendary book­store started trend­ing on Twitter. By 11.40pm, there were dozens of peo­ple in line – the jour­nal­ists came first though.

“It’s like Harry Pot­ter for adults,” some­one said.

“Is it, though?” a woman asked. “I feel like that’s giv­ing Michael Wolff too much credit.”

“I have a half-drunk beer and some half-eaten nachos at my ta­ble,” a man shouted, seem­ingly to no one in par­tic­u­lar.

“But I don’t want to lose my spot. I’m here for the party.”

The store had 75 copies for read­ers to buy. It took 15 min­utes for them to sell out.

“We’ll have more soon,” a store ass­sis­tant told a gag­gle of dis­ap­pointed would-be shop­pers. “Plenty more.” – The Wash­ing­ton Post.

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