The Last Magazine: A Novel

( 6 )

Overview

The year is 2002. Weekly newsmagazines dominate the political agenda in New York and Washington. A young journalist named Michael M. Hastings is a twenty-two- year-old intern at The Magazine, wet behind the ears, the only one in the office who’s actually read his coworker’s books. He will stop at nothing to turn his internship into a full-time position, and he’s figured out just whom to impress: Nishant Patel, the international editor, and Sanders Berman, managing editor, both vying for the job of editor in ...

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The Last Magazine: A Novel

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Overview

The year is 2002. Weekly newsmagazines dominate the political agenda in New York and Washington. A young journalist named Michael M. Hastings is a twenty-two- year-old intern at The Magazine, wet behind the ears, the only one in the office who’s actually read his coworker’s books. He will stop at nothing to turn his internship into a full-time position, and he’s figured out just whom to impress: Nishant Patel, the international editor, and Sanders Berman, managing editor, both vying for the job of editor in chief. While Berman and Nishant try to one-up each other pontificating on cable news, A. E. Peoria—the one reporter seemingly doing any work—is having a career crisis. He’s just returned from Chad, where, instead of the genocide, he was told by his editors to focus on mobile phone outsourcing, which they think is more relevant. And then, suddenly, the United States invades Iraq—and all hell breaks loose. As Hastings loses his naïveté about the journalism game, he must choose where his loyalties lie—with the men at The Magazine who can advance his career or with his friend in the field who is reporting the truth.

The Last Magazine is the debut novel from Michael Hastings, discovered in his files after his untimely death in June 2013. Informed by his own journalistic experiences, it is wickedly funny, sharp, and fast-paced: a great book about print journalism’s last glory days, and a compelling first novel from one of America’s most treasured reporters.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Dwight Garner
…fast and funny and humane. When I put it down, it called to be picked up again. Mr. Hastings captures a small but cruel and disorienting era, roughly 2002-7. He zeros in on the American news media's complicity in the rush to war in Iraq, on the withering of venerable brands like Time and Newsweek and on the rise of needling web magazines, run on a shoestring, like Gawker. He gallops through these years like a knight with a long pole on horseback, and he finds plenty to skewer.
Publishers Weekly
04/21/2014
Hastings, the late journalist whose 2010 Rolling Stone profile derailed the military career of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, writes about what he knew best—the world of news magazine publishing—in this posthumously published first novel. In 2002, a fictional Michael Hastings is interning at the weekly Magazine (read Newsweek, where the real Hastings once worked), where he bonds with burnt-out foreign correspondent A.E. Peoria. He also becomes involved with an upstart media website, Wretched.com, which calls print journalists “dead tree-ers.” But Hastings is such a passive character that readers may be drawn more to Peoria, who is forced to go on hiatus after an article he writes causes a riot in Iraq. Teaching journalism, he becomes involved with one of his students, a transsexual named Justina with an incredible backstory. Taking place roughly from the second Iraq War to Hurricane Katrina, this novel tries to recreate the last time that print magazines actually mattered. But without a strong protagonist, the novel suffers, especially in comparison to Tom Rachman’s far superior The Imperfectionists. Still, there is enough here to suggest that had Hastings not died in an auto crash in 2013, he would have mastered the novel form as well as he did journalism. (June)
Library Journal
01/01/2014
Hastings's 2010 Rolling Stone article "The Runaway General" won the George Polk Award and spurred the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal; it also inspired Hastings's New York Times best-selling The Operators. At the time of his death in a fiery car crash in June 2013, Hastings was reportedly anxious about National Security Agency surveillance, and some press accounts called the crash suspect. This debut novel, retrieved from his files after his death, traces the career of a young journalist named Michael M. Hastings at the Magazine, a publication not unlike Newsweek, where Hastings started as an intern in 2002.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-17
A posthumous novel about the news business.Hastings (The Operators, 2012, etc.) was one hell of a journalist, covering wars and geopolitical strife for venues like Rolling Stone and BuzzFeed. As it turns out, he would have made a fine novelist had he not died in a car accident in 2013. This "secret" novel was resurrected from his files by his widow, Elise Jordan; it's a messy, caustic and very funny satire. His protagonist is a young journalist also named Mike Hastings, who has just landed his first job at The Magazine in the dying days of traditional journalism. In wry metacommentary scattered throughout the text, the character Mike—who claims he's the one writing this book—reflects on just what it is he's writing. "Maybe I'm talking genres, and maybe the genre is corporate betrayal," he says. "Including the big decision that the entire media world is so interested in: Who and what is left standing?" Hastings, the author, tells the story of how Mike makes the journey from ambitious young man to cynical hack partially by showing us Mike's new friend A.E. Peoria, a classic old-school journalist who fuels his brilliant war reporting with alcohol and drugs and transvestite hookers. In the crevasse between his sanitary cubicle and Peoria's lewd adventures, our hero is also tracking the war of career strategy between his managing editor, Sanders Berman, and the international editor, Nishant Patel, whose favor Mike is carefully currying. Hastings chooses the start of the Iraq War to disrupt Mike's burgeoning career path. "There's war in the backdrop, looming and distant and not real for most of these characters, myself included," Mike says. In a way, the book reflects Hastings' career arc, from unpaid intern at Newsweek to one of the essential war correspondents of his generation.A ribald comedy about doing time in the trenches and the bitter choices that integrity demands.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399169946
  • Publisher: Blue Rider Press
  • Publication date: 6/17/2014
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 37,603
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Hastings

Michael Hastings was a contributing editor to Rolling Stone and a correspondent at large for BuzzFeed. Before that he worked for Newsweek, where he rose to prominence covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was the recipient of the 2010 George Polk Award for his Rolling Stone magazine story The Runaway General. Hastings was the author of three books, I Lost My Love in Baghdad, Panic 2012, and The Operators. He died in 2013, and was posthumously honored with the Norman Mailer Award for Emerging Journalist.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    A fun, somewhat educational read

    Well written, if a bit unusual. Something of a page turner. Easy, fun and maybe a little educational about goings on inside a publication. Recommended for the beach.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2014

    Definitely a page-turner, reminiscent of Hunter Thompson in depi

    Definitely a page-turner, reminiscent of Hunter Thompson in depicting some of the excesses. The main character, A. E. Peoria, is fascinating and surprisingly sympathetic. The humor isn't the laugh-out-loud variety, much more tongue-in-cheek and sly. While it is clear that he was narrating real events and depicting real people, I never felt he was taking cheap shots at anyone. The real life A. E. Peoria character says as much also. Very glad that I bought the book. I was aware that Hastings was dead before I read it, but was very sad about it when I finished.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2014

    Marginal at best

    Just that - marginal. The book got lost a few times. Many things were left in the air.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2014

    Kishan

    Pads in and hunts.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2014

    Get a pink ipad

    Kiss your and three times post this on three other books and check under your pillow.

    0 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 6 Customer Reviews

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