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(Salon)   Novelist gets unfairly screwed by ignorant NY Times critic, and doesn't have a hissy fit about it: "I recognize that this is a book review, not a piece on Chechnya"   (salon.com) divider line 39
    More: Spiffy, New York Times, Chechnya, New York, book reviews, novels, subject lines  
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7551 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 08 Jul 2012 at 9:41 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



39 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-07-07 01:40:27 PM  
That was an interesting read. I think I'll pick up the novel.
 
2012-07-07 02:13:44 PM  

Bob_Laublaw: That was an interesting read. I think I'll pick up the novel.


Me too :)
 
2012-07-07 03:58:30 PM  
Thirded. :)
 
2012-07-08 09:51:36 AM  
FTFA: The New York Times, the paper of record, had written a fictitious character to verify a fact.

Heh.
 
2012-07-08 10:03:22 AM  
Anyone else not getting the full article in Firefox?

This is how it finishes for me in Firefox:

"And because of this, the week before the reviews come, I am catatonic, greatly troubled by the storms of anticipation.

Patrick Somerville is the author of the novels "This Bright River" and "The Cradle," and the story collections "Trouble" and "The Universe in Miniature in Miniature." He lives with his wife and son in Chicago, and he teaches creative writing in the MFA programs at Warren Wilson and Northwestern University. More Patrick Somerville. "

The whole things does download to my computer because when I tried to copy the above in one part, it copied all the text that is missing.
 
2012-07-08 10:04:44 AM  
I farking love this guy! If every writer were as mature and non-excessively precious about their work, the Letters section of the NYT Book Review would be so much less of a whine emporium. The reviewer mistinterpreted the book in a MAJOR way, and this guy was seriously going to just take it for the team. That's one grounded dude. (Or a brilliant self-marketer and knows that the Salon article will only entice readers to check the book out themselves.)

Count me as another, fellow Farkers.
 
2012-07-08 10:15:34 AM  
www.biography.com
"Pussy."
 
2012-07-08 10:26:51 AM  

talkertopc: Anyone else not getting the full article in Firefox?

This is how it finishes for me in Firefox:

"And because of this, the week before the reviews come, I am catatonic, greatly troubled by the storms of anticipation.

Patrick Somerville is the author of the novels "This Bright River" and "The Cradle," and the story collections "Trouble" and "The Universe in Miniature in Miniature." He lives with his wife and son in Chicago, and he teaches creative writing in the MFA programs at Warren Wilson and Northwestern University. More Patrick Somerville. "

The whole things does download to my computer because when I tried to copy the above in one part, it copied all the text that is missing.


For some reason, you're not seeing a bright red "CONTINUE READING" after "storms of anticipation", but before the bio. Here's the printer-friendly version instead.
 
2012-07-08 10:41:43 AM  
That website gave me popups I couldn't close, and froze my phone.
 
2012-07-08 10:46:20 AM  
Somerville has sure hit on a way to market his book without spending a dime.
 
2012-07-08 10:51:13 AM  
Article too long. Kind of soggy. Seems like the person hit over the head turns out to be the reader. Amirite, Ms Maslin?
 
2012-07-08 11:15:10 AM  
I can say from vast personal experience NY Times critics have no interest in the truth. The reporters are worse.

Still, everyone biatches about getting bad reviews till they get good ones.
 
2012-07-08 11:24:28 AM  

zato_ichi: [www.biography.com image 402x402]
"Pussy."


Says the man who pussied out of life with a shotgun
 
2012-07-08 11:36:10 AM  

talkertopc: Anyone else not getting the full article in Firefox?

This is how it finishes for me in Firefox:

"And because of this, the week before the reviews come, I am catatonic, greatly troubled by the storms of anticipation.

Patrick Somerville is the author of the novels "This Bright River" and "The Cradle," and the story collections "Trouble" and "The Universe in Miniature in Miniature." He lives with his wife and son in Chicago, and he teaches creative writing in the MFA programs at Warren Wilson and Northwestern University. More Patrick Somerville. "

The whole things does download to my computer because when I tried to copy the above in one part, it copied all the text that is missing.


I am definitely not seeing something, since some earlier posts here (and the headline) are referencing things not contained in the article as I see it.

At any rate, the main reason you wouldn't be upset by a bad New York Times review is that it's an honor to even get reviewed by the New York Times. Just appearing in that review section is probably better for an author than a hundred good reviews in Local Crime Report Daily.
 
2012-07-08 11:37:16 AM  
Oh no, I hope society doesn't miss out on this love story!
 
2012-07-08 11:41:31 AM  
If his novel is as terribly overwrought as that article, then maybe it's best that it was put out to pasture. That turd was like reading Dr. Zachary Smith's (from Lost in Space) LiveJournal.
 
2012-07-08 11:41:54 AM  

Bob_Laublaw: That was an interesting read. I think I'll pick up the novel.


I just placed a hold at the library.

What? I'm broke. It's not like I'm downloading it illegally or anything.
 
2012-07-08 11:50:54 AM  
It's possible that bad writing could have caused the reviewers confusion.
 
2012-07-08 12:02:58 PM  

Aigoo: Thirded. :)


I too will pick up the book -- and prompty put it down, unread. I can't be pissed to spend time wondering about who got hit on the head and when. Sounds like a right mess, it does.
 
2012-07-08 12:04:26 PM  
I love how the husband makes a b line right to the alcohol. Must be a lovely family dynamic they have going on.
 
2012-07-08 12:28:27 PM  

Gunderson: zato_ichi: [www.biography.com image 402x402]
"Pussy."

Says the man who pussied out of life with a shotgun


Aaaaaand we're done here...
 
2012-07-08 12:56:48 PM  
This never would have happened to Richard Bachman.
 
2012-07-08 01:01:28 PM  

LeroyBourne: I love how the husband makes a b line right to the alcohol. Must be a lovely family dynamic they have going on.


Never ever put down alcohol like that.
 
2012-07-08 01:05:01 PM  

talkertopc: Anyone else not getting the full article in Firefox?

This is how it finishes for me in Firefox:

"And because of this, the week before the reviews come, I am catatonic, greatly troubled by the storms of anticipation.

Patrick Somerville is the author of the novels "This Bright River" and "The Cradle," and the story collections "Trouble" and "The Universe in Miniature in Miniature." He lives with his wife and son in Chicago, and he teaches creative writing in the MFA programs at Warren Wilson and Northwestern University. More Patrick Somerville. "

The whole things does download to my computer because when I tried to copy the above in one part, it copied all the text that is missing.


I had the same problem. I switched to IE and got the "Continue Reading" button at the end of the first part. I went back to Firefox and disabled AdBlock and the button showed up:
img84.imageshack.us

For some reason AdBlock sees it as an advertisement. I have this problem on a few other websites too. Anyone know a way to fix this without disabling AdBlock completely?
 
2012-07-08 01:06:51 PM  
Once I got to "As I am an atheist, I made noises directed at no one and nothing. I then, without removing my face from the couch-hole, picked up a throw pillow and gently placed it on the floor, blind," I knew I was going to buy this book.
 
2012-07-08 01:21:03 PM  
i.imgur.com

Haha.
 
2012-07-08 01:41:17 PM  
I have the same problem with Chrome. No Continue reading button. Thanks for the link to the whole article.
 
2012-07-08 01:44:13 PM  
I haven't read the book, so of course what I say is of no significance whatsoever - but if you have an opening scene between unidentified characters, and the reader makes an assumption later about who one of those characters is based on that character's behavior (Ben was a weirdo of some sort, and the reviewer made the connection that he was a weirdo because he got 'hit on the head')... you've got a reader living in a world for 2/3s of a novel in which 'Ben is the guy who got hit on the head.' That is a very hard viewpoint to then try and re-engineer to being 'actually, you were wrong, you've been reading the book wrong for the past hundreds of pages... HERE's the world you live in!'
Well, then, you've got a problem of clarity in your writing... Unless that reveal is well-crafted, and you've Planned for the audience to believe one thing and then pull the rug out from under them...if the mystery is the Thing of the story, as opposed to just being arbitrarily ambiguous for the funnies of it. (Think: Usual Suspects.)


In any case, it sounds like he's also sayign, 'she didn't finish the book, the beeotch.' Which would be his fault, too, since that'd mean she didn't Want to finish it...
 
2012-07-08 01:58:17 PM  

jocutus: For some reason AdBlock sees it as an advertisement. I have this problem on a few other websites too. Anyone know a way to fix this without disabling AdBlock completely?


Try the "print" links.
On many websites you get a nice distration-free layout that's easier to read.
 
2012-07-08 02:21:45 PM  

Gunderson: Says the man who pussied out of life with a shotgun


Or told life to fark off by shooting it in the face.
 
2012-07-08 02:57:22 PM  
At least he got a review. 99.9% dont.
 
2012-07-08 03:13:05 PM  

LeroyBourne: I love how the husband makes a b line right to the alcohol. Must be a lovely family dynamic they have going on.


you must be the one guy with a supportive wife. everyone else is married to coonts that live to crush a mans dreams and end his sex life prematurely.

or you are not aware that a man getting a novel published is akin to a woman giving birth. no one wants to hear they have an ugly baby.
 
2012-07-08 03:38:50 PM  
If I were the author, I wouldn't be so worried about getting a bad review from Janet Maslin; after all, she gave a positive review to the worst film in cinematic history.
 
2012-07-08 03:53:16 PM  

puckrock2000: If I were the author, I wouldn't be so worried about getting a bad review from Janet Maslin; after all, she gave a positive review to the worst film in cinematic history.


Holy crap. I'd hoped this was a tongue-in-cheek critique. So much for that.
 
2012-07-08 07:05:21 PM  
If he really wasn't angry, he would have been satisfied with the retraction that the editor worked with him to structure. End of story. Instead, he wrote a whole column about just how not angry he was. This seems like a way to vent his irritation with a major reviewer for NOT GETTING IT and yet come off like a nice guy - the very essence of passive aggressive behavior. Particularly where he published the email by his imaginary character stating that the character was in favor of a complete retraction (not the author, heaven forbid).
 
2012-07-08 08:44:42 PM  

LeroyBourne: I love how the husband makes a b line right to the alcohol. Must be a lovely family dynamic they have going on.


Yeah, no doubt. It's definitely not at all possible that he was being purposely melodramatic for entertainment/effect because he's a writer and that's what they do.
 
2012-07-08 10:45:29 PM  

quizzical: If he really wasn't angry, he would have been satisfied with the retraction that the editor worked with him to structure. End of story. Instead, he wrote a whole column about just how not angry he was. This seems like a way to vent his irritation with a major reviewer for NOT GETTING IT and yet come off like a nice guy - the very essence of passive aggressive behavior. Particularly where he published the email by his imaginary character stating that the character was in favor of a complete retraction (not the author, heaven forbid).



Oh cut the theatrics you drama queen. An interesting thing happened to him and--being a WRITER and all--he wrote about it.
 
2012-07-09 12:13:06 AM  

vwarb: Once I got to "As I am an atheist, I made noises directed at no one and nothing. I then, without removing my face from the couch-hole, picked up a throw pillow and gently placed it on the floor, blind," I knew I was going to buy this book.


Once I got to the, "Oooooooh, look at me, I am a God-hater" part, I said, "Wow. Another 'progressive' that feels he needs to show how edgy and nonconformist he is by hating God." Good job, Patrick Somerville, farktard. Get another schtick, libturds.
 
2012-07-09 08:29:37 AM  

taxandspend: FTA:"Our cat, pleased, sensing a complicated kind of emotional dissolution in the works, jumped onto my back and sat down."

That made me chuckleclose the window.

 
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