Friday, July 15, 2016

My Book Sacrifice

I've been tagged by a blogger friend and a vlogger friend--that'd be a person who makes videos as a blog, rather than a written blog like this; such a blog is usually on YouTube--to do an entry based on the following 4 scenarios:

1) An Over-Hyped book: Let's start this off with a Zombie Apocalypse! Let's say you're in a book store, just browsing, when BAM! ZOMBIE ATTACK. An announcement comes over the PA System saying that the military has discovered that the zombies' only weakness is over-hyped books. What book that everyone else says is amazing but you really hated do you start chucking at the zombies knowing that it will count as an over-hyped book and successfully wipe them out?!

2) A Sequel: Let's say you've just left the salon with a SMASHING new haircut and BOOM: Torrential downpour. What sequel are you willing to use as an umbrella to protect yourself? 

3) A Classic: Let's say you're in a lecture and your English teacher is going on and on about how this classic changed the world, how it revolutionized literature and you get so sick of it that you chuck the classic right at his face because you know what? This classic is stupid and it's worth detention just to show everyone how you feel! What Classic did you chuck?

4) Your least favourite book of life!: Let's say that you're hanging out at the library when BAM global warming explodes and the world outside becomes a frozen wasteland. You're trapped and your only chance for survival is to burn a book. What is the book you first run to, your least favourite book of all life, what book do you not fully regret lighting?

These four scenarios originated on YouTube by Ariel Bissette, and she explains it way better than I could. Watch that video here:

So, the disclaimer: These are just my opinions. Can I say that again? These are just my opinions! (I was gonna put that all in caps, but that's rude.) One of the coolest things about books is that people get very, very, very serious about them. They will get offended by the opinions of others. Books can be so personal! So I get that. And I dig that. But that's why my opinions are strongly felt, too. You don't have to agree with them! That's the point!

If you disagree or if you agree, let me know. Feel free to answer these in a comment, or in your own blog.

And I gotta add: I was so PISSED at the following vlog that I almost left a comment! The vlog is from a usually-amusing and creative and smart, and always energetic vlogger named Christine Riccio. She has a vlog about books, where she talks a lot about a book, and reviews it and rates it, and she really gets into what she's read. Anyway, in her Book Sacrifice, she said that the classic she thought was terrible was The Catcher in the Rye, and she slams it. This book was Mark David Chapman's favorite (he shot John Lennon, if you're too young to know), but so what? Lots of religious books are the faves of killers past and present, so don't make me go there. Anyway, the specific vlog of hers referenced here is at this site: so you should see it. And I didn't leave a comment because, well, have you read the negative comments that losers leave on internet articles and YouTube videos? I mean, are you kidding me?!? Why do these people not have anything else better to do? Anger and bitterness are nasty, nasty things!

My answers:

photo: from the book's Wikipedia page

1. An over-hyped book I'd clobber a zombie with? (Does that mean it has to be big enough to be used as a weapon?) Well, where do I start? I have to say...Just about any John Green book. Great philosophical ideas and themes, so-so writing. And often books based on philosophical concepts (which most of his are) do not translate well into print, because you have to create a plot for them. Doing that for philosophical concepts can be slippery and metaphysical. Like, you can't touch it. Example: The Fault in our Stars. Two teens with life-threatening diseases are trying to keep it real, and are looking for the meaning of life, or just plain Meaning in general. They find it in the seemingly-real work of an author who turns out to be a boozing butthole, who is not his persona, who does not keep it real, who is in fact just a real jerk. Okay, except...can two teens with these diseases and cancer really travel that far? And don't get me started on Looking for Alaska. I know John Green is huge in the YA and teen world, and that's very cool. Keep reading him! (Just don't ask me to.) I'd throw other YA titles here, like any of the Twilight (You don't fall in love with vampires! You kill them! They're evil! They're not good for dates, or to introduce to your parents, or to take to Sunday dinner!) or Divergent series. And any Nick Sparks book.

photo: from the book's Wikipedia page

2. The worst sequel of all time is Doctor Sleep, the awful, shitty, boring, badly-written travesty of a sequel to the pitch-perfect classic The Shining. I can't tell you how angry this book made me. It sucked! Danny of The Shining turned out to be this?!? Are you shitting me? And Jack Torrance turning up at the end to push her off the cliff? And she screams "F--- you" as she falls? How...base! ARGH! I normally love Stephen King books. I've read them all and I still have them all. But when he's bad, Oh My Lord...

A close runner-up here would be the sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird. This manuscript was sent to the publisher by Harper Lee's money-grubbing agent, and she found it in Harper Lee's sister's safety deposit box. Harper Lee had had a stroke and late-onset dementia when she signed the papers to publish this. I'm thinking she had no idea of what she was signing. She infamously published that one book, despite offers of millions of dollars to publish others. Would she not publish for over 50 years and then do so on her deathbed? And the iconic, peace-making Atticus Finch as an old, angry racist?!? Are you shittin' me?!? And why was this found in Harper Lee's sister's safety deposit box? The murder / mystery fan in me thinks it was because her sister thought she'd publish it and make millions if Harper Lee died first...but she didn't! I'll bet Harper Lee had no idea where this manuscript was, that it was long gone and long lost. It's actually the book that was going to be Mockingbird, but the publisher thought it was too negative and suggested she write something else, so she wrote what became Mockingbird. So it's actually just an early draft! That a publisher allowed this to be made and tarnish the genius of her actual, only published book. A TRAVESTY!!! I haven't read it, and never will. I know someone who's an English teacher, and she's married to a lawyer, and they named their son Atticus (yes), and even she refuses to read this. Luckily for her son, most people will never associate his name with the guy from this book!!!

photo: Charles Dickens, from his Wikipedia page

3. The worst classic? I couldn't finish The Lord of the Rings until I saw the movies first. Tried a great many times. But a lot of it was good. I stalled at the Tom O'Bedlam part, or whatever he was called. Never even appeared in the movies. Anything by Charles Dickens. I've tried to get through A Christmas Carol. Still can't do it. I tried reading all of A Tale of Two Cities. Still can't do it. The sentences are just too damn long. Great individual paragraphs--notably the first and last, a classic example of bookending--and the last scenes are classics. That's how we should read Dickens today--just the classic scenes. 

Why so many words? 

Because he originally published his novels as serials in magazines. 

And he owned the magazines. 

And he paid by the word.

photo: from the book's Wikipedia page

4. My least favorite book of all time? See #2. Throw Rose Madder there, too. I stopped reading that one when this woman sat on the bad guy and peed on him. Yes. Books that were so bad they made me actually angry. Like, strike someone across the face angry. I'm an angry bitter little man and I don't care. I once read a mystery / cop novel, when I first started the 20th draft of Cursing the Darkness, I forget the title now--::tries remembering title, even keywords to Google it, but can't--and it was sooooooooo bad. Sentences like: "I got the call to go to the murder site. But I first finished my dinner. Funny how these always happen during dinner. And the dead aren't going anywhere." Are you f---in' sh---in' me?!? I mean, how bad does writing have to be to be published, anyway?!? So laughable I couldn't get angry because it was just sooooooooo bad!!!

So, those are my answers. What say you? Comment, or email, or write your own blog--whatever!

No matter what, keep reading!

Thanks for reading my blog! Bye! 

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