Saturday, 2 July 2011

Reviews and views

Ok, A sunny day here on the West Coast. Finally! Canada day started out cloudy but was ok too.  But today I find myself alone with my computer, a gorgeous aged 08 Bolivar Gold, and a wee lady’s dram of Dalwhinnie Distiller's edition 15 yr old. A perfect time to quietly muse on about things and make a blog entry for this week.
I really do have to stretch to come up with something to write about. It would be easier if stuff was posted here to the blog. A good flame war or two about things like RYJ Edmundos would be fun and make it easier to write about. I only found out last week that to respond people have to have a blog or a login to Goggle. So the fact that the blog had been viewed over 1400 times but rarely commented on made sense. I thought my spelling had got in the way!
So a good friend touched off a bit of an email deluge at least to my basket after a review he posted. Some people thought it was a slap and a slight and quickly rallied to my ego’s defense.  I guess they missed the part on facebook where I linked his review and thanked him.  I love you all but my ego is really not that fragile and I didn’t think Jay’s review was off in the slightest. If I had a caveat it would be that the review doesn’t need to be taken with a grain a salt as it hit the mark.  Those that know Jay, as I do, are sure to get that he is above reproach as a friend or any thing less. He is brilliant, detail orientated, and kind. Amazing qualities to be sure. He liked the story, found it hard to put down at times, and enjoyed it despite the errors he found. He and three other close friends have commented on the errors. Editing just isn’t up to par these days.  Others have merrily read along as I did missing them entirely caught up in the yarn. One I know tossed the book four times against the wall cursing my punctuation and me! But he finished it, and enjoyed everything but the ending. When I asked him why he said that I sped it up too much and kind of changed the tone if not the voice of the book. I had intended on being slightly less descriptive as I moved along having forced the reader into a psychopathic mercenary’s mind. The verbose descriptions challenges for many, until they reap the mind picture rewards and go with the flow. He wanted me to keep the same pacing while every professional writer told me to speed it up.  Each of you brings a special something to the reading of Grey Redemption. You bring you.  A unique viewpoint and skill set. If you enjoy it, and it was worth the money you spent I am happy. I thank all of you for giving it a chance and I thank everyone who makes the time to write a review.
“Class what do you think the author was trying to say when he wrote…” Remember that start to every literature class? God how I hated those classes! Taught by bored and disillusioned PE teachers, using Coles notes for a guide. Ok perhaps I am being slightly harsh but?  So lets flash ahead twenty years and I am running late for a lunch date with a friend and as I was rushed I missed my mornings second coffee. So I go into the Starbucks near my house and while I am standing in line listening to frustrating people order fluffy coffee drinks I hear. “ I think Rhys Munroe is really a metaphor for the greed and rampant consumerism encouraged by the product based world.” I am seriously looking across the line thinking Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. (to the texting non-military types, this is where WTF came from). There in the corner are five people sitting around two of the small tables, with three hardcopies, and one soft of Grey Redemption. It’s a book club and they are actually reviewing my book! Seriously! This is like getting to be present at your own funeral; or rather I imagine it is, as I haven’t died yet.  Anyway, I sat down and listened. While there were a couple of comments about the edit I was glad to see most of the content was about the story! They had never heard of Equatorial Guinea and were amazed at some of the stuff I was showing them. They also were reading more into it. Way more into it than I had ever imagined anyone ever would. It was rewarding and funny at the same time as I remembered those Monday mornings in English Lit.
I got up from my voyeuristic perch and walked over. The table looked up and I smiled and asked if they wanted me to sign their books. They looked at each other in confusion and then back at me and I handed out my cards.  It finally caught that I was indeed the guy with the cigar in his hand from the website. Really do I look that different?  Then each handed me their book so I could sign it. “Tell us what it is your book is trying to say about the state of affairs in Africa.” One of the guys asked. I thought about the question looked at the speaker and quoted Bertuzzi; “It is what it is.” Then I added, “All the characters outside the mains are named after my friends cats.”


  1. Great story about the reading club. I was talking to my mom about it on Friday and she's planning to introduce it to her reading group as well (when she gets back from another opera trip...). Oh, and thanks for the kind words about my review. It was hard to press the submit button, but knowing you I expected that you'd be more interested in real opinions than being mollycoddled.