Before it came out, we were promised a book exceeding 300 pages detailing the trials and tribulations of Bristol Palin's impregnator, Levi Johnston. Trig Truthers hoped for truth from the pen of a couple of senior citizens from Florida who won the trust of a young man in Alaska. From the Miami Herald online edition, September 20, 2011, an interview with ghostwriters James and Lois Cowan (they live in Key West, FL ) begins this way:
Hitting bookstores Tuesday is Levi Johnston’s 319-page memoir with the provocative title: Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin’s Crosshairs.
Note that the Florida-based journalist, Cammy Clark, said the book has three hundred nineteen pages. That's funny, because the copy in front of me has 289. (Yes, a first edition, copyright September 2011.)
Maybe Ms. Clark is one of those journalists Sarah Palin likes to criticize- the ones who go around "makin' stuff up." But isn't it more likely, she got the number of pages from the Cowans and figured they were a reliable first-person source? After all, they did write the book. And this isn't their first book. So, what gives with this thirty page discrepency?
Maybe Ms. Clark misunderstood. Maybe Ms. Clark misread her notes. Maybe it's a typo. The natural investigator in me had to look further.
Found something posted recently. On December 22, 2011 KeysNet.com (news about the Florida Keys) announced that James and Lois Cowen [sic] will participate in the Friends of the Marathon Library's annual weekly speaker series:
Programs are at St. Columba Episcopal Church, 451 52nd St. bayside, behind the Panda House restaurant. Coffee, tea and cookies are served at 1:30 p.m. and the programs, all about 45 minutes and followed by question-and-answer sessions, start at 2. Admission is free and open to the public.
Apparently the Cowans are community minded. Nice people. No surprise.
The scheduled events begin tomorrow and continue through late March. It sounds like a quality program, the last two weeks in particular caught my eye. On March 16 there will be David Koontz, "once married to Christina Crawford and the executive producer of the movie "Mommie Dearest," which tells the story of Crawford being abused by her mother, actress Joan Crawford," and then the grand finale:
...March 23: James and Lois Cowen, liveaboards at the Key West Harbor Yacht Club who ghost-wrote Levi Johnston's 319-page memoir "Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin's Crosshairs."
The Cowens made two month-long trips to Alaska and spent countless hours interviewing Johnston, who fathered Sarah Palin's grandchild, in Wasilla.
I'm going to pass up the obvious chance to make a corrolation between these last two subjects and just say this - WHY are the Cowans providing a DITH synopsis using the number 319 as the length of this book? (Note to assuage my conscience - I noticed the misspelling of their surname, so maybe, just maybe the unnamed person who compiled the schedule made the whole blurb up without help from James and Lois. I don't buy that. I'm just sayin'.) It leads me to conclude this misinformation is coming from them. Two Florida-based announcements, apparently connected directly with the authors, both coming away with the same information - 319 pages in Levi's book.
In Wasilla, there's a hockey mom who wants you to believe this doesn't prove anything except that, if either of these had been written by a "rill" journalist a la Sarah Heath with a BA (has anyone ever seen that diploma?) in journalism, someone would have checked the facts with the publisher's website.
So...this is from the publisher's website - the Simon & Schuster :
Touchstone, September 2011
Hardcover, 304 pages
See there? The publisher says 304 pages. Sarah's right - modern journalism is all about makin' stuff up. But wait --- 304 is still 15 more pages than actually came out between the covers in the final printing.
You all know what I'm getting at. Levi wrote a tell-all. He told about Trig, who Trig's birth mother is, and other truths that would expose Sarah Palin and her lies. He told about Bristol becoming pregnant with Tripp in February 2008. He talked about the first month of Tripp's life, and how he and Bristol parented together in the Palin home for a month. He talked about his feelings.
Then the Babygate information got cut out. A phrase here and a phrase there went in to try to make the text fit the Palin's wishes and to hide the changes. In the end, the book was 15 - 30 pages shorter, but the authors can't seem to remember the new number. That first finished product, the real story, was over 300 pages. Somehow, that's what pops into their heads when they are asked that little detail.
One more thought - what if it's different when it is in e-book format? It's a long-shot, I know, to think the elderly ghostwriters are quoting e-book format design, but I checked anyway. Just to be fair. E-book format actually has fewer pages than my hardcover. No real surprise there.
Simon & Schuster; September 2011
256 pages; ISBN 9781451651676
So we have another mystery. Why do the Cowans repeatedly say three hundred nineteen pages? Why did Simon and Schuster say three hundred four? Why is it neither? My copy has two hundred eighty-nine. That's right - 289 pages including the "Acknowledgements."
I've never been published. Can someone jump in here and speak from experience? Didn't this happen with "Going Rogue" and anti-Palin blogs discussed the probable cause as Sarah cutting out all references to Levi? Is this another example of Palin life repeating itself?
It certainly appears that this book lost weight prior to it's final printing. Somewhere between 15 and 30 pages of material removed. That's a lot when you consider we are talking about the life of an unremarkable kid from Wasilla, AK.