I recently picked up a book from the library that completely blew my mind. I was going to start a review of it like this:
Some books are from the literary catch-and-release program: you read ’em, return ’em, and remember them no more.
Others are like great bloody axes crashing through your brain like some cosmic sword of Damocles.
The book is The Blood Runs Like A River Through My Dreams by “Nasdijj,” who purported to be a half-blood Navajo with a mild form of Foetal Alcohol Syndrom (FAS) … for whom it was torture to read and even more painful to write.
It’s about the life and death (mostly the death) of his adopted son, Tommy Nothing Fancy – who had a more pronounced form of FAS – and it is seriously mind-blowing. Just a little too mind-blowing, in the aftermath of the James Frey story Million Little Lies episode. There seemed to be just a little too much pain in the book for any one man’s life, and the details were oddly gapped. For instance, his excruciating recountings of the 6 years of Tommy’s life included nothing – not even the name – of his wife at the time.
So I did some searching, and guess what: it’s another Frey all over again. LA Weekly broke the story just a couple days ago – The Blood Runs Like A River Through My Dreams was published in 1999.
Just a few days after that, “Nasdijj,” who is really a sordid little man named Timothy Patrick Barrus, admitted fabricating the story. If you look at his archived blog posts, Barrus appears to be a misogynistic pedophilic anti-Semite.
He was actually born in 1950, as the book states, but is not Navajo, never adopted a child named Timothy Nothing Fancy, and actually gets multiple details about contempory Navajo life and customs completely, idiotically wrong.
This is just now hitting the blogosphere, with bloggers like Bill Doskoch helping to publicize the “Najahoax.”
“Nasdijj” kept a blog, appropriately enough titled “Deserving Death For Evil Deeds,” but most of the archives have been deleted or unpublished. However, he has some new content up, and if you look at it today, you will get a sense of what an odd, twisted, paranoid mind is behind the farce.
Here’s the saddest part of the whole thing:
The book is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. The fact that it is a lie cannot alter the concurrent fact that it is an absolutely mind-blowing heart-shredding story.
Why, why do these talented writers throw away the truth they have in stupid little lies?