Cussedness Corner

"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane

It Doesn’t Take 10 Pages

It doesn’t take ten pages to decide that you don’t like a book.  And if you are offended or disgusted by the contents you were exposed to, it makes sense to put a review up at amazon about your reaction to it.

Here is a sample of Phailbin’s latest novel, Chimeratown.    And I can decide that I dislike it.

First off I never liked second person.

Second, the character is not sympathetic and I can get no feeling for him.

The sample reads like a rant on a blog, not a novel.

“Don’t stay near me, it whispers and hisses. The sea is a real black, angry, ugly place to be – a correct and proper statement of intent for a serial killer of a nutjob like me”

First off, no one in real life would talk or think this way of themselves.  We are all heroes in our own life stories.  I think he should have done his research and found out about the thought processes of serial killers.

You will not hear the locals use that name though, certainly not until I make them say it with teeth broken and vision affected by a broken eye socket, blood tearing down their foreheads. I will then see them smile when they say my real name. Geoffrey. A fighting name. A tagging name. A territorial name. A moniker of fact and misfortune

What’s wrong with the name Geoffrey? If someone had named him Sue or Throckmorton, maybe he would have difficulty. But Geoffrey is a fine old name.

Waiting for her transformative prowess to spill its grease all over my burning cock, what else is worth waiting for?

And once more he can’t resist putting the sex in the book in pornographic terms.

The clouds, those ancient forbearers of malevolence shallows shades of emasculated grey, pale in comparison to the creative fury of such a mass of death and anger

Emasculated? Shallows? This exceedingly purple metaphor simply does not work at all. There is nothing there to hang it all together. One part does not pertain to the other.

Two pages of this and I would know the writer was a talentless shock jock. And I would feel that it was enough to write a review on.


Write a review?

I think I have written one.


9 comments on “It Doesn’t Take 10 Pages

  1. Jack C. Young
    July 30, 2009

    It’s as incomprehensible as Nikky at his worst. He also ought to know that the word in question is “forbears” not “forbearers”. He’s mad because Ms. Lackey couldn’t read more than 10 pages? I couldn’t get through five paragraphs.
    Don’t like that, Flippout? So sue me.
    Read Strunk’s manual and get a thesaurus so you can learn how to spell.
    Or stop inflicting your crap on the rest of humanity.

  2. Neve
    July 31, 2009

    Treating this work as if it came across my desk professionally:
    The extreme misogyny and disregard for the reader is an immediate rejection. There are plenty of ways to express the need to get laid without being crude or calling your reader an idiot. By the second paragraph it is obvious the writer needs a thesaurus as there are so many descriptive words for different depths and shades of black that could be slotted in, that might add to the atmosphere rather than painting the mental eye with a Rochester test.

    The use of the word ‘shallows’ is incorrect, drop the plural and it might work. Also if the clouds are beyond mention, why mention them at all? Is the mention of a successor a colloquial phrase? If not what does a successor have to do with anything at all?

    The section about Geoffrey’s black book reminds me so strongly of another authors work I’d be forced to suspect at least subconscious plagiarism. I say suspect because certain characters worm their way so firmly into the subconscious at times reflections of them emerge in a work without intent. I would suggest a serious review and revision by the author. Again, insulting the reader at the end of this section is very poor form.

    The rest of this piece invites comment on form and content, as it is meant to be descriptive anyways. Besides a serious lack of adjectives I am nonplussed by the narrative. Geoffrey is a cardboard cut out, a mash-up of a gothically inclined emo, who is angsty, horny and mad at god. He isn’t scary and he isn’t even disturbing, unless you’re afraid of teenagers.

    This image of teenaged ‘wankst’ is re-enforced by the lacklustre attempt to make the local OAP’s (old folks for the American readers) vile and frightening. If this is supposed to be a horror excerpt it is sorely lacking in the scare factor. I think someone needs to take Geoffrey home for milk, cookies and some Guitar Hero.

  3. johaha
    July 31, 2009

    Sad thing is, what Mike does not realise is that putting a message across to your readers should not be a forced endeavor. If you force it—as he does– then it fails all the time.

    You start with an idea and let the story “take over”. The real idea or message will come out naturally as you write. Even Burroughs–Mike’s hero–knew that. Burroughs did not shock on purpose, as Mike does. Burroughs let the story go its own way, tell its own message.

    Burroughs would laugh in Mike’s face and call him a hack.

  4. susie hawes
    August 1, 2009

    that’s sad.

  5. cussedness
    August 2, 2009

    It is all ultimately tragic.

    Clearly, Mikkake turned to writing when (like Larry) he could not make it in the big league art world. And he is even less successful at writing than he was at painting.

  6. Rusty
    August 2, 2009

    And, of course, they both think we either don’t understand their genius, or don’t get the joke. One, there’s no genius; two, the “joke” is juvenile at best.

  7. raingod
    August 2, 2009

    I read this with much interest, and followed a similar thread on Rusty’s, as well as the thread over on SL. Why? Because my current work in progress opens with a brutal rape and murder. I did that purposely, to show the depths of violence the serial killers go to.

    Then I was worried that it may come across as too much. I sent it to two people who have been published, one for over 40 years, and much to my relief, they found it engaging and wanted to know more.

    If Philbin were really interested in keeping readers, he would take more care in what and how he writes. You can be brutal, you can be graphic; but you can’t be on a bully pulpit and condescend to your readers.

  8. cussedness
    August 3, 2009

    The reason that Philbin’s nose is so huge is because he keeps it shoved up his own arse.

    All that aside, a good writer can turn a brutal scene into something good and defy the rules. A bad writer defying the rules is just masturbating.

    I think PHilbin spends too much time with his hand on the sausage while writing.

  9. Neve
    August 3, 2009

    @ raingod

    I just went over a violence based story myself and accepted it for the magazine. It contains a fairly brutal scene, which I felt it was absolutely needed as it highlights just how much the protagonist changes throughout the course of the narrative. My own personal projects deal with issues surrounding sexuality and also contain/will contain some seriously violent murders/ crimescenes and such. They are both subjects that can be handled with taste, decourm, compassion and respect for the characters themselves as well as the reading audience.

    I have to also agree that it was the condescending attitude that went up my nose far more than the violence or misogyny. Calling your partner in at least mental dialoge an idiot or a worthless fucker isn’t attractive in the slightest.

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