When Bill O’Reilly takes a break from saying inarticulate things, he likes to mix it up and make bad decisions. It’s mostly sad, but there’s serious schadenfreude involved with someone who’s so gleefully and malevolently moralizing in his public persona. I don’t pay much attention to Bill, so when the story broke yesterday I was poking around, catching up. And, you guys. WOAH. I. Found. The greatest thing ever. Bill O’Reilly wrote a novel. And I. It. I think. WOAH.
Those Who Trespass: A Novel of Television and Murder … focuses on the revenge a television journalist exacts on network staff after disputes very similar to O’Reilly’s real tensions with CBS (such as one involving Falklands War footage). The revenge takes the form of a series of graphically described murders.
The antagonist is a tall, “no-nonsense” television journalist named Shannon Michaels, described as the product of two Celtic parents, who is pushed out by Global News Network, and systematically murders the people who ruined his career.
Meanwhile, the protagonist, a “straight-talking” Irish-American New York City homicide detective named Tommy O’Malley, is charged with solving the murders that Michaels has committed, while competing with Michaels for the heart of Ashley Van Buren, a blond, sexy aristocrat turned crime columnist. Some reviewers have said that Michaels and O’Malley are “thinly veiled versions” of O’Reilly. [ed. note: YA THINK?]
Michaels’ first victim is a news correspondent who stole his story in Argentina, and got him into trouble with the network. He then stalks the woman who forced his resignation from the network and throws her off a balcony. After that he murders a television research consultant who had advised the local station to dismiss him by burying him in beach sand up to his neck and letting him slowly drown. Finally, during a break in the Radio and Television News Directors Association convention, he slits the throat of the station manager. After this, he is pursued by O’Malley and Van Buren, where he attempts to lose them by crossing a runway in front of a speeding jet. Although he makes it, his car’s right back tire is cut by the jet’s wing, causing the car to spin, flip over, and be subsequently melted by the exhaust from the jet, which explodes. Michaels dies in extreme agony, as his contacts (used to hide his identity) burn into his eyes and a chunk of the car crushes his head in.
My thoughts, as coherently as I can make them:
1) YES. Yesyesyesyesyes. GUYS. Bill O’Reilly cathartic murder-revenge novel!
2) In which he is ALSO the good guy!
3) Tommy O’Malley? AND Ashley Van Buren? ARISTOCRAT-TURNED-CRIME-REPORTER? There has to be one scene where they meet in a diner for coffee and pie and other poor-people-foods, and he’s all blue collar and honorable and she’s all aristocratic and uncomfortable and totes like “my collar isn’t blue but my blood is” and he makes her smile and it’s the first genuine feeling she’s had in forever cause like, authenticity and you know.
4) How has Micheal Bay not made this movie yet? Seriously, that death scene (complete with 8th grade SYMBOLISM) is straight Bay-bay all the way.
5) Shakespeare, you hack. How come you couldn’t rewrite Merchant of Venice as an elaborate revenge fantasy. Literature is the best, you guys.
6) Wait, the jet’s wing clips the car’s tire, and then they both explode? Is this a flying car? Why would the flying car need a wheel to fly?
7) Am I debating the mechanics of a Bill O’Reilly revenge murder fantasy? What is wrong with me?