An Unexpected Twist, by Andy Borowitz. Kindle Single, $0.99 (free borrowing with Amazon Prime).
Reviewed by Seth Mnookin
Last week, The New Yorker found itself in the news as the result of a newly acquired blog. I know what you’re thinking -- “Enough already with Jonah Lehrer!” -- but this had nothing to do with journalistic ethics or onanism or anything else that might get the folks at Poynter all hot and bothered; this had to do with a blog that is proudly, deliberately “composed entirely of lies,” a blog whose author assured his readers that he will strive to be “as inaccurate as always, and if I ever write something that turns out to be true you have my deepest apology and my promise that it won’t happen again.”
I’m talking, of course, about The Borowitz Report, which Andy Borowitz started 11 years ago as an outlet for his daily, 250-word send-ups of the news. (This morning’s entry: "N.R.A. Proposes Sweeping Ban on Movies.") In that time, Borowitz has become one of the most lauded satirists in the country -- think of him as a literary Jon Stewart. His name graces the cover of one of the most successful Library of American volumes ever (The 50 Funniest American Writers* (*According to Andy Borowitz)). He was voted by Time magazine readers as having the #1 Twitter feed in the world. He even hosted the National Book Awards -- twice.
He also got married (in early 2008) and had a daughter (in late 2009). It’s what happened in between those two events that supplies the content for An Unexpected Twist, which Amazon recently named the best Kindle Single of the first half of the year. Borowitz's essay begins with him bloated, severely constipated, and turning down his wife’s suggestion of a midday quickie, which, he acknowledges, “should be a sign that something is terribly wrong.”