Book Title: Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin' Crosshairs
Say what you will about Levi Johnston (and I’ve said my bit of it), you can’t deny that he has a — frankly incredible prose style. Just read one excerpt from hissoon-to-be-classic memoir, “Deer in the Headlights.”
“I sucked in the smell of her perfume, Viva La Juicy, and was swept away. La Juicy was part of my oxygen supply, even for the year and a half we were apart. ”
Yes, I know it’s the work of aseptuagenarian couple, the Cowans, who felt that he was “getting the shaft” in his dealing with the Palin clan. But still. Listen to these sentences! They sound like what would happen if you got the hockey team drunk and forced them to retell “The Great Gatsby.” Forget jumping off the page. They jump off the page, take your wallet and spray you with chloroform.
They practically run screaming out of the building. At least that is what I would do if I had written them.
To say that his writing style is inimitable would imply that someone wanted to imitate it. It is a pastiche of a parody of a pastiche.
It is a cross between the dialogue attributed to shirtless men on horseback in those novels that you read at the beach and the grunting, barely intelligible noises one makes at the dinner table between the ages of 13 and 20.
“I walked right up to her. Just ’cause. ’Cause I couldn’t keep away.”
That’s — almost like a haiku, in the sense that any haiku Levi Johnston would write would also be missing several syllables.
What’s curious is that, even as he denies the Palin clan, Levi’s prose bears resemblance to nothing so much as — Sarah’s own meandering verbiage.
And based on that, I have a proposal. As he proved on Conan O’Brien’s show, the only reader who could possibly do justice to this inimitable prose is the great William Shatner himself. Get him on this.
“As I headed for the bench during a line change, something electric happened over the heads of my teammates.“Lightning-bolt love.“It’s lucky the ice didn’t melt.”
Blam! The only thing that would make those sentences better would be if they were read by The Man himself. Or how about this paean to Bristol?
“She was the sun of my life. We became secret camping lovers, scraping gnarly gnats off our lips before we kissed. . . . I love you, I’d started to say, and before I finished, she’d said the same thing to me.”
Best known as Bristol Palin’s baby daddy and Sarah Palin’s favorite whipping boy, Levi Johnston sets out to clear his name and—with any luck—end his run as Alaska’s most hated man.
Promising hockey player and Governor Palin’s almost son-in-law, Levi Johnston was eighteen when Palin became the vice presidential nominee. His unique place as Bristol’s live-in boyfriend provided him a true insider’s view of what was going on behind closed doors. And how Sarah’s public views were often at odds with her home values. It makes it all the more curious that Sarah eventually turned her anger directly on Levi, after losing her ticket to the White House
After being bullied, lied about, and outspent in the courts when he attempted to bond with his new son, Tripp, Levi Johnston now is ready to set the record straight.
Deer in the Headlights is a poignant, at times very funny, and fascinating tale of a boy thrust into the media spotlight and now figuring out how to be an adult and a dad. Johnston, ever honest, had a unique window into Palintology at a critical time; he sat in the family’s living room and paid attention. Not bitter and never petty, Levi shares his story.
As Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC so aptly put it: “I love that kid. He's honest, he's straightforward, he's not embarrassed.”
About the Author
Levi Johnston was born in a tiny Alaskan town perched on the edge of untamed wilderness. Johnston, twenty-one, has been an outdoorsman since he was big enough to hold a fishing rod and aim a rifle. He has worked as an electrician’s apprentice and roustabout in Port Valdez and on Alaska’s North Slope. After his appearance as an honorary Palin family member at the 2008 Republican National Convention, Johnston modeled forPlaygirl and was profiled in GQ, Vanity Fair, and New York Magazine and a guest on Today, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, and Larry King Live. He is the father of a young son, Tripp, and lives in his hometown of Wasilla.