It’s difficult to separate Michael Hastings’s first and final novel The Last Magazine from his life and mysterious death. The book, which takes place at a publication named The Magazine from 2002-2007 in the run-up to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stars two versions of the Michael Hastings of whom the public may know. The first is also named Mike Hastings, an observant, cynical intern fresh out of college. One can imagine the second (named A.E. Peoria) as a fictional stand-in for Michael Hastings the fast-talking, fast-writing war correspondent who brought down General Stanley McChrystal with his Rolling Stone profile in 2010. The fate of the late Hastings, who died last year at 33 in a high-speed, explosive single-car crash that spawned enough conspiracy theories to clog up Twitter feeds for weeks, is considerably more tragic that anything that happens in The Last Magazine, which is a very funny, bawdy romp through the final days of the “dead tree” newsroom.
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