Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Stevo vs. James Frey

A couple of you wrote me to bust my balls about my haughty claims of literary superiority over James Frey. Who's better? You tell me.

One of these passages was written by James Frey; the other is my rewrite. Tell me which one you like better , and I'll let you know which one was mine!

Writer A
I start walking toward the elevator, know that there are things with Leonard that I should not question. He pushes the button and the elevator arrives and we go down walk through the lobby leave the hotel go outside. It's dark. It's cold. The wind. We start walking. Five minutes later we're at the steakhouse. We walk through a set of large, unmarked oak doors. It's dark, the walls are wood, the carpet thick. It smells strongly of steak and cigars. I take a deep breath, we walk through a short hall to a reception stand. There is a man in a tuxedo behind the stand he steps around and greets Leonard calls him Sir and shakes his hand. Leonard introduces the man to me and we shake hands and the man says pleasure to meet you, Sir, which makes me laugh.

Writer B
I inhale sharply and turn to confront Leonard, and at the last moment think the better of it. Once he's got his mind made up, it's a waste of time. We walk to the steakhouse, the wind pushing against us like an invisible hand; instead of talking, we avert our eyes and muse at the round pools of white from the streetlights.

I push open the heavy oak doors and welcome the warmth of the steakhouse, savoring the comfortable air despite the cigar smell. A tuxedoed man hops around his podium to greet us, smiling cartoonishly.

I love how restaurant hosts act so happy to see people. What, did he think no one was going to show up for dinner today? Or do we just resemble his long-lost uncles?

But he really gives himself away when he calls me "sir", despite my muddy pant-legs and tattered windbreaker, which is not at all suited for the brutish cold. I laugh silently into my collar.