Today’s NYT review of Mark Leibovich’s takedown of D.C. insiders begins with a list of the many things the reviewer finds irritating about the city, including the fact that it is often referred to as “This Town,” which is also the name of the book. From title alone, says the reviewer, “you know [Leibovich has] a sharp ear, and a sharp eye to accompany it. You also know that he’s got the sharp knives out.”
This Town, (Penguin/Blue Rider) wasn’t always the book’s title. Many library catalogs are still showing it under an earlier version, The Club.
The book is embargoed until its release a week from Tuesday, but, predictably, the Washington Post already broke it, so the NYT followed suit, even though Leibovich, the chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, is one of their own (the excerpt that is the cover story for the NYT Magazine was probably meant to be the first glimpse of the book).
Highly anticipated, not to mention feared, for months, the cover reportedly carries a frustrating label, “WARNING: This Town does not contain an index. Those players wishing to know how they came out will need to read the book.” The Washington Post overturned this clever marketing ploy by creating an index of their own. Library users seem unimpressd; most libraries are showing few holds on light ordering. The book has broken into the top 100 on Amazon sales rankings, however, reaching a high of #38 on July 4, the day the Washington Post index was released.