Crikey editor Misha Ketchell writes:
Last Thursday night I had a couple of friends over for dinner and was chopping onions for the one moderately fancy dish I know how to cook when the phone rang. Melbourne University Press had got a copy of our email to Crikey squatters detailing our plan to publish “Crikey Crib Notes,” our own special take on The Latham Diaries, complete with critical essays, character sketches, a list of Lathamisms, and summaries of every chapter.
As it turned out, both Mark Latham and MUP publisher Louise Adler were nowhere near as enthusiastic about the project as we were, which might have had something to do with our suggestion that you could read the Crikey Crib Notes instead of “lining Mark Latham’s pockets with royalties.” I guess that probably wasn’t the sort of thing you want to hear after publishing a book that’s making a huge stir (and is expected to make a lot of money).
MUP’s lawyers were talking about seeking an injunction to stop us going to press. And although I just managed to salvage the meal, I spent a long night on the phone to lawyers as it became increasingly apparent that the Crikey Crib Notes on The Latham Diaries were unlikely to see the light of day in the form in which we’d envisaged.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
Since then, we’ve called off the lawyers at 50 paces, but we haven’t been able to come up with a version of the Crikey Crib Notes that’s acceptable to MUP and us, and we’ve had to abandon the project.
It’s a pity. We think that Crikey’s Crib Notes would have done more to fuel interest in the book than steal potential readers. But this cloud does have one silver lining. As part of the Crikey Crib Notes we commissioned two essays on The Latham Diaries, one by Stephen Mayne, who’s very pro-Latham, and one by Christian Kerr, who’s just incredibly p*ssed-off he didn’t get a mention.
Both essays are the exclusive intellectual property of their authors and Crikey, and we’ve published them below.