The Official Fahrenheit 9/11 Reader

Michael Moore, Author Simon & Schuster $24.95 (363p) ISBN 978-0-7432-7292-6
In an effort to fan the flames lit by the controversial Fahrenheit 9/11, this companion book presents Moore's ""screenplay,"" such as it is. The screenplay consists of transcripts of news clips and interviews, interspersed with the text for the voice-over narration, song lyrics and short cues about what is happening visually (""Young Iraqi man on his stomach on the floor with flashlight in his face""; ""Michael Moore approaches huge ice cream truck in D.C.""). It's nowhere near as affecting on the page as on the screen, where a mother's grief over the loss of her son, who was killed in Iraq, becomes heart-wrenchingly personal and the President's bumbling is made larger than life, but it might help people remember what they saw and discover new moments they missed in the theater. The section following the screenplay provides sources for Moore's claims, courtesy of his new fact-checking team; as Moore writes in his brief introduction, he wants the book to aid ""those of you who have been hectored by your conservative brother-in-law."" The factual support won't do much to stave off critics who complain that Moore's approach is what is fundamentally flawed, but could win over viewers who liked the film but remained skeptical of its assertions. Also included are numerous emails from deeply affected fans, positive film reviews from a wide range of publications and articles delving deeper into the movie's issues, such as the Saudi royal family members' flights out of the country on 9/11, which Craig Unger investigated for Vanity Fair in 2003. Timed to coincide with the DVD release of Fahrenheit 9/11 and, of course, the election, this book is certain to enjoy healthy sales.
Reviewed on: 10/04/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
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