Ken Tucker on ”If I Did It”
You just knew that If I Did It, O.J. Simpson’s ”hypothetical” account of his role in the 1994 murder of Nicole Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, was going to be leaked. I’ve read a version of the manuscript — the book was canceled from Judith Regan’s now-defunct HarperCollins imprint but now will be released by tiny Beaufort Books — and I am here to tell you, there is no guilty pleasure to be gleaned from these ramblings of a craven, whining, self-pityingly aggrieved man. His book is a long, tedious slog through a bad marriage, culminating in a description of Nicole’s death that’s revolting not in its detail but in its clichéd banality: ”a bad dream,” the author calls it.
If you have even a superficial, Larry King-derived knowledge of the case, you won’t find anything new here except for the nonstop egocentrism in complaints like ”Nicole was sapping a lot of my goddam energy” and his self-righteous rage about how his ex-wife might have engaged in behavior of which he disapproved ”while my kids were sleeping upstairs.” He does imagine himself at the scene of the double murder — even noticing a knife in his hand at one point — but conveniently fails to remember whether this ”hypothetical” O.J. Simpson has anything to do with the deaths.
And so while If I Did It will end up in some bookstores after all, don’t bother trying to ferret it out; it is one lousy book by any standard, including literary and moral. F-