Less than two weeks prior to publication, an attention grabbing account of a motel voyeur is being abandoned by the author.
Gay Talese is a journalism giant. But evidently he overlooked a key detail of property ownership when documenting the story of Gerald Foos, a motel owner who spied on his guests. When the Washington Post pointed out a gap in property records, Talese responded “I should not have believed a word he said… I’m not going to promote this book…How dare I promote it when its credibility is down the toilet?”
The Washington Post article further stated:
In a series of interviews, he expressed surprise, disappointment and anger to learn about the transactions. He said he had not been aware of them until a reporter asked him about it on Wednesday.
“The source of my book, Gerald Foos, is certifiably unreliable,” Talese said. “He’s a dishonorable man, totally dishonorable. . . . I know that. . . . I did the best I could on this book, but maybe it wasn’t good enough.”
I wonder how this will play out in regards to Talese’s book advance?
NPR is reporting that Talese now says he spoke too soon. “I was upset and probably said some things I didn’t, and don’t, mean. Let me be clear: I am not disavowing the book and neither is my publisher.”