Get local news delivered straight to your phone
We can't make City Paper without you
When long-form journalist and de facto pop anthropologist Mike Sager writes about Mike Sager, he’ll usually mention how he ditched Georgetown law to work his way up from Washington Post night copy boy to Esquire writer-at-large. Sager’s career trajectory is equal parts journalistic dues paid and badass book jacket bio. Along the way, he received a thorough education in the journalistic tradition of New Journalist founder Tom Wolfe and gonzo king Hunter S. Thompson. Now, Sager’s the one schooling aspiring muckrakers. “Treat everyone the same,” he tells them. “Get an imagination.” “Items you buy for work are tax deductible.” Sager’s allowed: He’s the only journalist around who can manage to write a full 1,000 words about erstwhile Playmate Brooke Burke before even mentioning her name. In fact, he might be the only journalist who can get you to read 1,000 words about Brooke Burke period. In his second collection of essays gleaned from his magazine work, Revenge of the Donut Boys: True Stories of Lust, Fame, Survival, and Multiple Personality, Sager turns his signature journalistic eye on Rosanne Barr’s dissociative identity disorder, Mike Ditka’s gambling debts, and the pants-pissing love life of an average nonagenarian Arizonan. Sager is equally at home contextualizing celebrities as he is exposing small-time personalities—including his own. In the book’s capping essay, “Mike Sager by Mike Sager,” the writer gives his treatment to 39 other guys named Mike Sager, breaking one of his own rules: “Don’t put yourself in your story unless absolutely necessary.” Sager discusses and signs copies of his work at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1307 19th St. NW. Free. (202) 785-1133.