Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The book review in repose

Here's what no one tells you about being a published writer: people will hate you, be bored with you and sometimes even overpraise you. Yes, I'm talking about the snarky book review, a nasty little secret I've tried to avoid mentioning in the time my novel-in-stories Evacuation Plan has been out. But sometimes you just gotta speak up.

Take the woman who said this about my book:

"The narrative is all first person, but jumps from the main writer, to each of a variety of people he meets at the hospice - some staff and some greiving family members. The whole premise is a bit suspect in the first place as I doubt any hospice just lets a filmaker or writer hang out at its nurses station and sleep on its couches as our main character does here. Most of the, what are essentially short stories, are not interesting, with the exception of one or two."

Ouch! Of course, the book was inspired by my experiences on a very similar hospice couch...

Now here's what the same reviewer had to say about a few other horrifically bad books:

"A good quick read, but the stream of consciousness thing is annoying coming from a teenage narrator and I found the whole premise kinda shallow and uninteresting."

--The Catcher in the Rye

"A few worthy scenes and descriptions. But overall too disjointed, irrelevant, and dare I say...boring at times. It felt like absolutely no movement to any discernable plot, just meanderings around an only vaguely interesting family tree."
--One Hundred Years of Solitude

"I don't usually care for short stories and this collection is no different. Although her descriptive ability is good, short stories have to get interesting or relevant very quickly for me, and none of these did."
==Interpreter of Maladies

"I can't relate to the characters at all and feel no emotional connection or lessens learned. Not even a joy in being placed in another setting and time, since really it's a miserable set of circumstances."

--Great Expectations

"Recommended to me as a friend's favorite book, but I couldn't get through it. Just too unbelievable and I find it easy to lose focus with his writing style."
--Henderson the Rain King

"...it starts interesting, and then devolves into useless dialogue between characters I care little about. It just feels like too much work to read."
--The Sun Also Rises

I couldn't be happier to be in such crappy company.

1 comment:

patri said...

Hurrah! Congrats on the bad review then!