No, this isn't the name of a semi professional pub band from Macclesfield, this is a story which is sending shockwaves through the myopic world of publishing.
Last night, at his book launch, Jonathan Franzen, the hugely talented and critically acclaimed author of Freedom had his glasses stolen from off his face. The thieves left a ransom note demanding $100,000 and a hotmail address and fled.
Twitter broke the news and as I sat at home drinking a rather acceptable Kronenburg 1664 I thought a number of things.
- I don't beleive it.
- This is a publicity stunt by the publishers.
- I have had too many Kronenburgs
- Why are JF's glasses so special. Couldn't he just get another pair
- Has he not got a spare pair.
- What a bunch of meanies those theives must be to pick on speccy.
So I asked my girlfriend if I could photograph her glasses and I added this listing on ebay. It was magnificently amateurish (and childish) and I thought it might get a few laughs. So I tweeted 'Jonathan Franzen's stolen glasses found on ebay' and added a link to the listing.
I'm delighted to say that some people took it seriously and soon this news about Mr Franzen's glasses travelled through the world wide web and caused a few twitchy journalists to actually make this part of the news story. There have yet to be any bids...
Ah, the power of twitter.