Beware: Satire Turns on Self

Benjamin Cheever’s The Good Nanny, a darkly comic novel about nannies and parents set in the world of New York publishing, is reviewed in the Globe and Mail. In the novel, one character boasts that “Nobody cares about the text at all. We didn’t even read the most expensive book we bought last year. We paid two million for a name and title, for smoke and mirrors.” Unfortunately, the quote comes back to haunt the author.

It’s truly bizarre to read a novel about a New York editor who’s a legendary fusspot that apparently wasn’t given the services of either a copy editor or a proofreader by the novelist’s New York publishing house.

Reviewer Elisabeth Harvor proceeds to count the number of times characters “nod mutely” or shake heads mutely, or wag their fingers. Meow.