If I Did It, by O.J. Simpson: a review.
There should be two categories of literary reviews: the ones you read to find out whether you want to read the book and the ones that give you someone's interpretation of it; these you might only want to read after you have read it yourself. I will divide my review into three parts. Part I falls in the first category. Part II is my interpretation and in part III I put the story in a wider perspective.
To my knowledge O.J. Simpson is the greatest actor and writer in the western world today. "If I did it" is the most important book I ever read, about the most important subject in the world. It breaks your hart.
For twelve hours a play for two actors has been performed. Author, director and leading actor: O.J. Simpson, co-starring: the 'ghostwriter' Pablo Fenjves. The book itself is a transcript of Mr. Simpson's lines, Mr. Fenjves has only served as secretary, working out the tape. "I didn't think I'd created a lasting work of art" says Mr. Fenjves, and he is right; he didn't create anything. Don't worry, you won't hear his voice in it.
His function was to "force" the hero of the story to "confess" and tell that story to the world. He did what he was expected to do, quite unaware that he had been turned into a character in a work of fiction. He told his story in the media and later, invited by the Goldman's, in a "Prologue" added to the book.
After you have bought the book the first thing you'll want to do is clean it up. Get rid of the wrapper, scrape the gold from the spine, tear out all the Goldman additions; then you will have a lot of work erasing the "confessions of the killer" from every right-hand page with colored Tipp-ex; finally you will want to clean up the table of contents, add the name of the author, the title and "If I Did It, Here's How It Happened" as it said in the original edition.
But as the story told in the "Prologue" belongs to it my advice is to staple it together again and add it as an annex.
If you want to make this book understandable for younger and future generations, or for non-Americans, you're not done yet. Some basic biographical information as well as some elementary facts of the murder case will also have to be told. For this you can use your new wrapper, which should have the same picture on the front as the original, as this is a portrait of the hero of the story. That picture I found on the internet. The rest of the wrapper as shown is my own design.
Here is the text for your wrapper:
Orenthal James Simpson was born July 9, 1947 in San Francisco, California. From 1969 till 1978 he was a professional American football player and became a great star. After that he started a career as an actor.
In 1967 he married Marguerite Whitley. Their third child was on its way when they separated in 1977. This is where the story in this book begins.
In 1979 they divorced and in 1985 he married Nicole Brown. They had two children.
Nicole Brown had aggressive moods in which she physically attacked people; it took Mr. Simpson some effort to defend himself against her as he is a completely non-violent person. However in 1989 he was tried for violence against her and sentenced to community service. The verdict was based on the lies of police officers who hated him.
In 1992 they divorced. After that Nicole Brown became friends with Faye Resnick, who moved in very shady circles and introduced Nicole here. In July 1993 a friend of Resnick's was brutally murdered with a knife and she went in hiding for a while. She hid again when in June 1994 Nicole Brown was killed the same way, together with Ronald Goldman, a friend who came by to return a pair of glasses ... But it was decided straight away by the police, the prosecution and the media that there was to be no other suspect then Mr. Simpson. This was the beginning of the most horrible witch-hunt of a single person ever.