NOT SO YOUNG ANYMORE: If Graydon Carter seems a little more peevish than usual this week, forgive him.
Carter’s nemesis, professional failure Toby Young, is in town to promote the sequel to “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.” Gawker Media founder Nick Denton and former Page Six contributor Jared Paul Stern, among others, are hosting a book party tonight for Young’s “The Sound of No Hands Clapping” at the New York outpost of Soho House.
“So far, it’s been pretty good,” Young said Wednesday, of the early reaction to “No Hands.” “The sort-of consensus seems to be that anyone who enjoyed the first book will probably enjoy the second. And anyone who didn’t enjoy it probably won’t like this one, either.”
And why not? As one editor who’d read the sequel concluded, “It’s like a giant postscript. Someone should count all the references he makes to the first book.”
Young said he had extended a party invitation to Carter, but that he has not yet received an RSVP from his former boss and the dominant figure in the Young oeuvre. “When I had my party for my first book, I actually thought about hiring a Graydon Carter look-alike to come and beat the hell out of me. I thought it would be a good publicity stunt,” said Young, who has a sort of tic-like need to invoke Carter’s name as often as possible to get press. “I called an agency in New Jersey to ask for one and they said, ‘Who?'”
Following an initial media blitz during the Ron Burkle/Page Six ordeal, Stern has been keeping quiet and declined to comment on the party. Young said he had asked Stern to host long before tapes of a meeting with Burkle cost Stern his job at the New York Post. “It wouldn’t exactly have been the act of a friend to say, ‘Hey, now that you’ve been the subject of a scandal, I don’t want your name on the invite anymore,'” said Young.
Like Young, Stern has been attempting to mine his professional slump for material of late. “I have run my eye over his book proposal, and it seems very good indeed,” said Young.
This story first appeared in the July 13, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Before Young and his wife return to the U.K. they will visit Shelter Island and meet with several theater producers about Young’s stage adaptation of the first book. “There seems to be quite a bit of interest in staging the play over here,” he said. “Almost certainly with somebody else playing me.”
— Sara James
CARGO TRANSFER: The defunct Cargo magazine’s contributing West Coast editor Lisa Simpson has landed at Entertainment Weekly. Her title is special projects editor, a new position. Before Cargo, Simpson was at In Style and helped launch “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”