Another 100 words, another recommendation (with some reservations about it being odd, but don’t worry, it’s not explained what’s odd about it)for SBB, this time from Liverpool’s own, Plastic Rosaries.
It looks like this marks the end to my book blogger reviews, and all I can say is that this whole thing has felt like an absurd put-on. After a quick search of some popular book blogs (Bookslut, The Book Smugglers, Dear Author), the bare minimum for a review is 500 words (which blows by), and they’re usually around 1000 words. A 1000 word review feels like the author has made a concerted effort to summarize the important story elements while focusing more on the larger successes and shortcomings of the work. You know, a review.
What can you even do in 100 words except press one of two buttons? LIKE or DON’T LIKE. You might even mention why, but you only get one, maybe two simple sentences after setting up the basic premise of the book. This post, right here, right now, is roughly 200% longer than each review.
So, what I’m telling you is that even though 4 out of the 5 people who “reviewed” it pressed the LIKE button, don’t trust it. There are far better, more informative pieces of writing about it on Amazon and Good Reads from people who took the time for whatever reason. Or better yet, crack open the cover and see if it takes you somewhere you want (or feel you need) to go.
It was an odd one. Elements of the novel had me laughing out loud whereas others left me thinking WHAT just happened… as a whole this is a recommendable read and fantastic first attempt for a debut novelist.— Choice statements from book blog reviews (Plastic Rosaries)
I have to admit, when I received the list of book bloggers who’d answered the call to review SBB, I’ve been most looking forward to what “Deal Sharing Aunt" might have to say. This may well be, I think, because I endured my childhood without the advantage of a flesh and blood deal sharing aunt. What I did have was a sharing aunt, who shared her borderline personality all over the place, non-stop. Continuing in all seriousness, who couldn’t use a good deal… on… okay, after visiting her page, I’m unsure what’s happening, in terms of deals, because my eyes started crackling—I could hear them—in the sockets due to a barrage of ads.
Eventually I did find my way to the review of SBB, but then I blinked, and it no longer appeared in front of me. Let me tell you something—Deal Sharing Aunt does not waste time with a lot of… well… reviewing. She gets right to the quantitative value of literature. 4 out of 5. Not even stars. Just 4 out of 5. Fuck it. Who has time to waste when there are deals to be had? What is this, Russia? This is America. And guess who knows it? That’s right.
And I’d already made peace with an attempt at survival. Jacque in her Nook full of Books has got me all kinds of excited about 2014 and beyond. Go ahead, Ryan, get that faux hardwood floor you’ve had your eye on. The living room is important. Trip to Hawaii? You know you want to go… just go.
And yet, when the lights are out, and my head is still in the room for a few seconds before disappearing into darkness, then dream, what mattered when it began is what matters now—to find and be found.
Anyone who enjoyed [A Heartbreaking Work of] Staggering Genius, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, will most likely enjoy this book as well. It contains a similar sense of humor, but without the depressing subject matter…The writing was brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I never would have guessed this was the work of a debut author. If this is any indication of the quality and originality of Wilson’s work to come, he will have a very successful career.— Choice statements from book blog reviews (Jacque’s Book Nook)
1. How many favorite books can a body have? Are we to presuppose that favorite has retained its meaning? Also, what organized?
2. An event horizon is a boundary in space-time beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer (thanks Wikipedia). So, like, this book, mine I mean, I guess, like, how?
Either it’s a very big world, and I’m a very small person or I’m standing at the edge of an event horizon. Spiral Bound Brother was that kind of book.—
Choice statements from book blog reviews (Naimeless)
So it appears as though SPIRAL BOUND BROTHER will be getting a round of reviews in the coming days from a very diverse group of book bloggers. Links to follow and all… but really, this whole review thing is a first for me, so any advice of how to handle it from veteran writers would be appreciated.
Here’s my thinking: I crouch in a defensive posture in a dark room, allowing my head to buzz until I feel a kind of hypnogogic state coming on, and then I unleash an attack on each reviewer with supreme vitriol, carrying on for a dozen paragraphs or more, taking each sentence they write about the book out of context, combing their language for errors and weaknesses, while simultaneously channeling every psychological wound I’ve ever suffered in the past? Is that right?
Count me among the intrigued by Brit Marling, but this film was a phenomenally blue-balling affair. Seeing as the big-pot-of-trouble-character in my novel—Lila—is a radicalized blue-blood ready to take action, just like the characters in the film, I knew eventually I’d have to engage THE EAST just to see what they did, how they did it, and why.
So here we are, embedded with these radicals, and their “jams” are justifiable enough, a couple of them cleverly conceived, poisoning the poisoners and what not. And we know it’s not going to last, that is to say, they can’t “win.” And we know someone from the group is going to die a death chock full of coldblooded capitalist irony, but GODDAMN! The ending is the equivalent of how we conclude games of CANDYLAND in our home. Everybody happy? Yeah? Made it to the Kingdom? Okay! And let me add that games of CANDYLAND in our home are steeped in misery for all of us. The children don’t even enjoy the play-action of the game. They just feel compelled to imagine a sugar laden world where chance determines everything—that is, they THINK chance determines everything. They don’t know (yet) that the old man rigs the cards to make sure when they get close to that fucking kingdom, nobody, especially the kids, is going to draw a GINGERBREAD PEOPLE or a PEPPERMINT BEAVER card, only so we can begin again. Not on your ass. And why on earth would a beaver be the best representative from the animal kingdom for the worst of all sweet tastes, Peppermint?
They just want to get to the kingdom, and I don’t blame them. It looks like a hedonistic ecstasy in there. But nobody enjoys the journey. Ever.
I don’t want to spoil THE EAST with details, but if you despise CANDYLAND for its emptiness, and are always looking for that great yet-to-be-made contemporary revolutionaries film, I would posit you’ll feel the same about the non-ending here. There are other problems, and some intriguing things too, but I’m confident you’ll agree, just like the end of THE ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST, you’ll be chanting, “they blew it!”
Feel free to hip me to anything I’ve missed in the leftists-curing-the-world-of-evil genre. It’s dear to my heart, but rarely does it play well in the cinema.