Nothing Happened and Then It Did

Nothing Happened and Then It Did

A Chronicle in Fact and Fiction

By Jake Silverstein

W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393076462, 231pp.

Publication Date: April 19, 2010

The timing couldn t be better as scandals erupt over journalists and memoirists who ve cooked their books for a work that explores our difficulty in separating fact and fiction, while explicitly demonstrating how they differ and what they share. In prose so fine and wry it makes the back of your neck prickle, Jake Silverstein narrates a journey he undertook through the American Southwest and Mexico, looking to become a journalist. His picaresque travels are filled with beguiling and hilarious characters: nineteenth-century author Ambrose Bierce; an unknown group of famous poets; a twenty-first-century treasure hunter in the Gulf of Mexico; an ex-Nazi mechanic shepherding an old Mexican road race; a stenographer who records every passing moment; and various incarnations of the trickster devil. As bold, ambitious, and funny as it is unconventional, Nothing Happened and Then It Did is a deep and lasting pleasure.