Because I hate myself, and my ears, and my brain, I’ve been listening to the audio book version of ‘Going Rogue,’ as read by Sarah Palin. Even ignoring my distaste for her politically and her many questionable claims about events on the campaign trail this is an awful, awful book. And more than awful, it’s downright disturbing thanks to Palin’s performance reading it.
Let’s start with the fact that Sarah Palin, who got her degree in communications with a focus on journalism, and her collaborator Lynn Vincent, a former editor and senior writer at ‘World‘ magazine, can barely construct an English sentence, none-the-less a cohesive narrative. Grammar and style errors the least of ‘Going Rogue’s problems though. The book shifts tone, voice, and topic so frequently and dramatically that I often find myself shaking my head, wondering if I have blacked out for 15 minutes and missed a large chunk of the story.
Palin’s musings on politics and policy are thrust into the storyline haphazardly, and loaded with awkward name dropping and bragging. She speaks of being obsessed with politics and current events, yet never displays any understanding of these things beyond what could be ripped from the summary paragraph of a Wikipedia page. More awkward than her political interjections are the moments when the narrative switches from her plain-spoken prose to cliché-laden, pseudo-poetic descriptions of the “sinister, black muck surging against the rocks” and other such nonsense.
The most disturbing moment though is Palin’s description of her miscarriage. The matter-of-fact telling of this personal tragedy should serve to humanize this larger-than-life character. This is especially true when faced with her account of the surprisingly unsympathetic doctor who informs Palin that, “there’s nothing alive in there,” and tells her, “you have a couple of choices about getting rid of it.” Palin says she felt “sick and hollow” and described the event as something that “rocks a relatively untested faith.” Yet she reads this section as coldly as you imagine the doctor informed her of the loss of her child. The passage is delivered with the same inflection and lack of emotion as the fair scene that opens the book. In fact she sounds almost cheery as she speaks of the “devastation and loss.”
The worst part? I’m only about an hour into this roughly seven and a half hour pile of aural dreck. Wish me luck.