The Last Magazine by Michael Hastings Review

The Last Magazine by Michael Hastings

Michael Hastings was a gifted and award-winning reporter for Newsweek and Rolling Stone, before he tragically died in an automobile accident in Los Angeles in 2013.

They discovered this The Last Magazine on his computer, and fortunately it has been published, and unfortunately it will be his last published piece of fiction.

In my opinion, journalists who attempt to write novels are typically not very good at it. That’s not the case here.

The Last Magazine is compelling, hilarious, nasty, revealing and rollicking ride through the last throes of a big time magazine in the runup and first year of the Iraq War. I’m certain The Last Magazine would have been better if he had time to work with an editor, but it’s bursting with life, and you will not want to put it down.

Two of the my favorite characters in the book, Nishant Patel and Sanders Berman, were based on well-known journalists, Fareed Zaharia and Jon Meacham. Hastings paints them with gigantic egos who will do anything to get on television. 

Hastings wrote several nonfiction books, including I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern Love Story, which is about the death of his girlfriend, an aid worker, in an attack on her convoy. Goodreads calls it “searing, unflinching, and revelatory.” His second book The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan concerns the US presence in Afghanistan. 

I love this quote from I Lost My Love in Baghdad: “I’m glad you’re the one I get to leave the parties with.” RIP Michael Hastings.

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Joseph Raffetto

Joseph Raffetto earned a B.A. in Comparative Literature from San Diego State University. He can be found online @noovella on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. His books are available on all online booksellers.