Ronan Farrow, the Pulitzer-winning journalist who has written extensively about sexual misconduct for the New Yorker, has sold a book called Catch and Kill to Little, Brown. According to the publisher, the book is “a deeply personal story about a reporter grappling with how much to put on the line to protect the truth, and a story that expands our understanding of the forces in law, politics, and media that maintained a conspiracy of silence around Weinstein and other men in power committing gross abuses with impunity.”
Director Ramin Bahrani, whose adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 begins airing on May 19, writes that Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel “is the book for our social-media age.” In that novel, Bradbury “imagined a world where people are entertained day and night by staring at giant wall screens in their homes. They interact with their ‘friends’ through these screens, listening to them via ‘Seashells’—Bradbury’s version of Apple’s wireless AirPods—inserted in their ears. In this world, people would be crammed ‘full of noncombustible data’—words to popular songs, the names of state capitals, the amount of ‘corn Iowa grew last year.’”
Unit sales of print books fell 3 percent the first week in May, compared with figures from a year before. The biggest drop has been in adult fiction.
BuzzFeed reports on new research into fake reviews on Amazon. Tommy Noonan, CEO of ReviewMeta, a site that analyzes Amazon listings, estimates that the site has approximately 250 million reviewers, a significant number of whom seem to be inauthentic. “Noonan’s website has collected 58.5 million of those reviews, and the ReviewMeta algorithm labeled 9.1 percent, or 5.3 million of the dataset’s reviews, as ‘unnatural.’”
Peter Mayer—who, while he was at Viking Press, published The Satanic Verses—has died. “I was advised by many to live like a hunted man,” Mayer recalled in an oral history about the release of Salman Rushdie’s controversial novel, “and to change my address, change my car, move into a hotel.”