How to get a free copy of ‘Fire and Fury’

JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

I found an easy way Wednesday night for getting a free copy of “Fire and Fury,” Michael Wolff’s new book about the first year of the Trump administration.

Just hit this link: “Fire and Fury” for free.

It will give you a PDF of the book, which debuts at No. 1 on The New York Times nonfiction list with record-setting first-week sales for its publisher,

The source of the PDF is www.alfredojalife.com, and that might be the website of 69-year-old Mexican journalist Alfredo Jalife-Rahme.

My biggest fear is www.alfredojalife.com is some kind of s—hole Russian operative tracking my laptop, which I used to read the first chapter of the book, so I may just have to skim through the rest of it and then clear my history.

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Walked into hot bar, walked out with cool book

The Saturn Bar on St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans hosted a book launch and reading Thursday night. JOHN E. BIALAS

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

I walked into a hot New Orleans bar around 7 p.m. Thursday and walked out around 8:30 with a cool new book.

I was among the many who packed a back room at the Saturn Bar for the launch of “The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading.” a post-Katrina memoir by New Orleans writer Anne Gisleson.

This is her first book, and she writes about being in the Existential Crisis Reading Group and their meetings from January 2012 to December 2012.

Had I known the temperature of the back room before I got to the bar, I would have come up with my own subtitle:  “Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, Reading and Sweating. A Lot of Sweating.”

Actually, it felt nice and cool when I walked into the bar.  The AC was going in the front room, but the back room was hot.

It was sweaty hot. It was drip-from-your-forehead hot.

No matter.

I was more than happy to be there because of the presence of Octavia Books, one of my favorite Uptown stores, and my first chance to go to the Saturn Bar, a Bywater dive on St. Claude Avenue.

Octavia Books had a table in the front room to sell copies of “The Futilitarians” and I was one of the first to buy one. I had cash in hand, money left over from a trip to Colorado in July.

Gisleson and other ECRG members did an entertaining hour-long reading that included music, and before I left the bar, she signed my copy of “The Futilitarians” after my short wait in line.

Now that I’m back home in Gulfport, I believe “The Futilitarians” will be a challenging, thought-provoking and emotional experience. I look forward to reading it starting this weekend.

And I predict no sweat will be involved.

 

 

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Wasting time trying to buy ‘Elbowing the Seducer’

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

I wasted two days trying to buy the out-of-print 1984 novel “Elbowing the Seducer” after reading about it on The New York Times website.

Times critic Dwight Garner wrote about the novel in his “American Beauties” column June 16 and this led me to an obsessive search of online stores because the book sounds intriguing and I would like to buy a copy to read this summer.

Garner hooked me with these two paragraphs:

The tangiest literary-world roman à clef to emerge from the ’80s — it is almost certainly the best of the past four decades — is “Elbowing the Seducer” (1984), the first novel from a writer named T. (for Trudy) Gertler.

It’s awful that this novel is out of print. It’s more awful that Gertler, who is still with us, has not written a second book. She has a high style, a feel for social comedy and a deadly eye for detail.

I enjoyed the column, which is “about undersung American books of the past 75 years,”  and I was on my way seeking a used copy of “Elbowing the Seducer” for under $10.

Hardback. Paperback. It didn’t matter to me as long as it was in good condition.

Right to Amazon

I looked at a lot of sites, Amazon being my go-to, but one seller there wanted $157.71 and $3.99 shipping for a used paperback in good condition. That sounded money-hungry.


Then I ran into two Amazon third-party sellers seeking ungodly amounts of money: $999 plus $3.95 shipping for a used “Elbowing the Seducer”  hardback copy in good condition and $2,360.10 plus $3.99 shipping for a used hardback in good condition.


Greedy guts!

You might say, “Why not go to the library in your town?” I did. “Elbowing the Seducer” was not in the library database. Instead, it was suggested I search for “Plumbing the Elmer” and “Skidding the Row.” That’s what the titles looked like to me. Maybe the type was fuzzy.

Maybe at eBay


Not long after that, I found four offers for under $10 from an eBay seller and I’ve included a screen shot of three of the offers.


I eliminated two offers after learning the condition of  both copies was merely acceptable. One didn’t have a dust jacket.


The best copies from this seller were a used paperback in good condition for $4.47 and free shipping and a used hardback in good condition for $7.64 and free shipping.


I was all set to use my PayPal on the paperback or the hardback until neither one showed up in my shopping cart. I couldn’t contact the seller so I talked to an eBay customer customer service rep, and after 45 minutes on the phone with him, he told me the seller probably had not updated their settings and that the copies probably had been sold.

If I am able to buy two good copies of “Elbowing the Seducer” somewhere else for under $10 each, one will be for me and the other I will give to you. You won’t even need a cart.

 

 

 

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Beatles fans in their own write

By JOHN E. BIALAS

Going back to the biography Hunter Davies wrote in 1968, when I was 16 years old, I have at least 20 books about the Beatles.

Did I really need to read another one? Yes, I did.

The latest is In Their Lives: Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs.”

The collection of essays is really a book of stories that are deep, meaningful and emotional.

A Beatles obsessive will go in with a lot of knowledge and will learn even more.

The stories are personal, familial, analytical and opinionated.

They offer fresh takes. There are twists and turns.

All of this makes me happy, just like a Beatles record makes me happy.

Baby and the basset

Tilly is our 4-year-old basset hound, and since her name is in the title of this blog, I’m required to have something related to Tilly to help me get clicks.

One of the ways I hope Tilly will get me clicks is the game I play on my Facebook page: Tilly or not Tilly?

On Facebook, I post a photo or video of a basset who looks like Tilly and ask, “Tilly or not Tilly?”

This blog’s first Tilly or not Tilly? is inspired by a video I saw on “Inside Edition” on Tuesday. Don’t ask me why I was watching “Inside Edition.” I will just tell you. I was stranded in the house until 5:30 p.m. because of rain from Tropical Storm Cindy.

You can see the video here. Tilly or not Tilly?

 

 

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