Nicholson Baker gets into would-be assassin’s mind

The protagonist of Nicholson Baker’s forthcoming novella, Checkpoint, “sits in a Washington hotel room with a friend and talks about assassinating President Bush.” Although the character doesn’t act on his threats, and the 1968 Supreme Court case of Brandenburg v. Ohio establishes that threats against the president in a work of fiction can’t “be forbidden or punished unless the speaker’s purpose is to provoke an assassination attempt and that is likely to be the effect,” Linton Weeks predicts in the Washington Post that the book is likely to be as incendiary as Fahrenheit 9/11.

Checkpoint is forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf, which has just published the Clinton memoir. It will appear on Aug. 24, the eve of the Republican National Convention. The turnaround must be quick; the book doesn’t show up on Amazon yet. (First link via TEV.)


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