San Francisco, California

Hate Inc. and the Serial Book

The other day I was reading Craig Mod’s article all about the Future Book where he briefly mentioned Matt Taibbi’s latest venture: Hate, Inc. This is a newsletter published via Substack (that charges $40 for a yearly subscription) but the exciting thing about this is that Matt is publishing whole books via these newsletters, breaking his stories down into chapters along the way.

I hadn’t heard of Matt’s newsletter until Craig recommended it, but he’s one of my favorite writers and I’ve waxed lyrical about some of his previous work.

Anyway, over the holidays I’ve been obsessively reading the first book that he published via his newsletter which is a mostly fictional account of drug dealer Huey Carmichael—so many scenes in this story have kept me on the edge of my seat that it’s difficult to point to one of them though.

Supposedly the story is based on the real account of a dealer and the register and tone of each chapter is entirely believable. This fictitious dealer, Huey, writes about the difficulties and hardships of moving drugs around the country but it’s this feeling I get whilst reading it that there’s this whole economy under my feet that I’m entirely ignorant of. Like in this part where Matt, as Huey, writes:

You’ve seen Training Day, where Scott Glenn has his “pension” buried under his house? There’s some truth to that shit. Even the best growers aren’t always sophisticated. They’ll make money, wrap it, and bury it. From time to time they’ll open it up so it doesn’t get moldy, or even just to look at it. Then they just re-wrap it.

Up and down the coast of California, man, I guarantee you there’s half a billion dollars buried up there.

I also love that Taibbi calls these ventures “serial books.” And I mentioned this the other day but I think that work like Taibbi’s proves that email is the most exciting publishing platform there is right now.