Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Time out for a little fun

Sharing with us today is humorist, Tracy Farr, writing about the very first review of his book. This first appeared on his blog in May 2010, and since he doesn't think more than ten people actually read the post, he thought it was okay for us to use it today. Enjoy....

J-Walk reviews "Never Trust a Goat"

Holy Cow! Somebody other than my mother actually downloaded my "Never Trust a Goat" e-book and read enough of it to actually write a review.

And the reviewer? None other than John Walkenbach of The J-Walk Blog!

Okay, so let's cut to the chase and see what J-Walk thought of my little book:

"Just a bunch of humorous essays. I got it because a few of the essays mention banjo. But, as it turns out, he plays a 4-string banjo. I'm pretty sure I could write a book like this."

Plus, out of Five Stars, he gave me a Three! I mean, that's like a "C+" -- just enough to pass the class and not have to go to summer school. Hot Diggedy!

So, how about I review the review? I mean, just in case you're not used to reading reviews it might be best for me to point out some "between the lines" sort of stuff. Okay, here we go:

"Just a bunch of humorous essays."  First off, the word "just" implies that something "unremarkable" is about to happen, and when associated with "a bunch," that means there's going to be a lot of it! And what kind of essays are there going to be a lot of? Unremarkable but humorous essays! Score one for me!

Next: "I got it because a few of the essays mention banjo." And indeed they do. The title of the e-book was just the title of the first essay -- you know, to grab a person's attention to make them want to at least think about downloading the book. The book is not totally about goats. But to find that out, you've got to read all of the book's description before you download it -- which obviously Mr. Walkenbach did. And since he found something that might interest him -- the possibility of there being banjo stories -- he downloaded it. Score two for me!

Let's continue: "But, as it turns out, he plays a 4-string banjo." Oh well, I knew it had to happen someday. You mention you play the banjo and people automatically assume it's the five-string type. A bluegrass banjo. I guess I could have made that a little clearer (I play the four-string banjo, which is used in jazz and Dixieland), but I didn't. I guess one of these days I'm going to have to learn how to play the five-string so as to not disappoint the masses. Score one for J-Walk.

And finally: "I'm pretty sure I could write a book like this." Well, of course you could. I just threw some stories together, wrapped them up in an e-book cover, and just put it out there. Anybody could do it. Of course, I thought my mother would be the only person to read it, but I was wrong. Even she hasn't read it. Score two for J-Walk.

To sum up my review of J-Walk's review, I think he hit the nail right on the head. The book is unremarkable. Anybody could write one just like it. There's really no excuse to even have something like that offered on the Internet. I mean, it's no Thurber; it's no Benchley; and it's no Barry. It's Farr, and that in itself speaks volumes!

Anyways, thank you J-Walk for taking the time to at least look at the book. I am sincerely appreciative. I promise that my next book will be super-duper remarkable -- or in the trash.

Writers, have you ever had the urge to review the reviewer?


Tracy Farr is a teacher living in East Texas who enjoys writing funny stuff and playing a banjo. You can get a  free copy of his e-book Never Trust a Goat HERE
Posted by Maryann Miller, who also has goats she does not trust. She also has books that she does trust. For information about her books and her editing services visit her website.

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  1. That was funny Tracy. I think you gave the guy too much credit. Personally, I think four strings is plenty for a banjo. Mine only has one.

  2. Clever, Tracy,

    Yes, I have been tempted to review a review but always resisted the temptation. The risk is starting an infinite regress of comments on reviews of the review and comments on the comments... Before long, the Internet would grind to a halt and all original writing would cease.

    In my view, authors have their say when they write, and reviewers have their say when they review. It's a complete symmetry in itself. Besides, the last thing I want is a reviewer whose nose I've tweaked returning to wreak revenge on my next book!

    --Larry Constantine
    Lior Samson Author Site

  3. "Goat" is on my Kindle. I read the essays when I'm in places Id rather not be so that I can feel good.

  4. What goes on the Internet stays on the Internet. That's why I'm careful not to say anything not quite nice about a person.

    Morgan Mandel

  5. Thanks for stopping by to read Tracy's post. Giggles, you are so right about the book being fun to read when you need a break from the intensity of working. One of the reasons I enjoy Tracy's blog, too.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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