Yes. It's absolutely ridiculous. I've written about this review on the blog. You have a moron, for starters. It's not a review. She's simple, stupid, and completely out of her depth. She's not up to no good, like you're seeing with this other sect--I'll get to that in a second--but she's an imbecile. What's she going to do? Tout a radical work of genius? Right. You see how dumb she is because she clearly assumes that because my last book was Meatheads (which she didn't read), I write in a bro style. Then she says that everything is self-deprecating. How many characters are in this book? Sixty? They're all self-deprecating, eh? Huh. That is remarkable.
She's just saying whatever, Peter. There's no attempt to review the book. There never is from anyone with any book. Not now. She's too dumb and simple anyway. Then she chickens out, and does what they do--the three star approach, because what is she going to do, when it's a book unlike any she's ever seen? "It's smart, and worth looking at, but nothing more." You want her to herald genius? To trailblaze? This simple, weak creature? These people are just clouds of gas, man. They don't stand for anything. They just blow around.
You know what's funny, too? All of these people praise everything else they touch, this generic slop. Tom Perotta. Awful writer. He goes on FB yesterday and he's like, "Such a big relief to get the first review of my eighth book out of the way, a starred review from PW. I am so relieved and grateful." What did you think they were going to give you, you f---ing tool? They just give you what they always give you. They didn't care about your garbage. You think that's real? It's just easier. And you're meaningless. You're not a threat to them. It's just formulaic nothing. From a nothing. So yeah, have a courtesy sack rub. All of it is so predictable. The writing. The starred review. And he's old--seems older than he is, too--so you can support that kind of white guy, if he's been around and that's how it's gone for him over the decades.
So, you have someone like this, and then that other sect. I know exactly how everyone works here and the motivation. The other sect is failed writers in their thirties and forties who are academics, and tend to live in far-flung places after moving far away from where they were from because no one there would have them. You have the two trolls in Scandinavia. Remember the academic who writes jargon books about super heroes and Marxism who said I used a thesaurus with Sam? Caked in envy. Remember the guy who gave each story in Brackets a rating, then gave it an overall 3 stars, and said it was the rare story collection that makes you feel nothing? Of all the things to say in this world.
These are the three star trolls. And I am so on to them. John texted me the other day and said they were about to start up, this kind of person. Why three stars? Trust me, Peter, they want to give it negative 100 stars. But you can't. Because I'm the best f---ing writer who has ever lived. You can't get away with it and be thought credible. Their MO then becomes taking me down, dinging me, cutting me, but making it believable the best they can. They follow the same pattern, take the same approach.
They start out with a lukewarm, or left-handed compliment. Faint praise. Then, they walk it back. And back. They call me smart--note how that insults the writing. Like there's a disconnect between my brain and the page. They say it's not bad. They try to damn by the faint praise and the passive aggressive approach. And these guys, who are all the same--I mean, really, they're the same age, the same color, have the same job, write the same kind of nonsense, are going nowhere, and want to be me--write the same piece.
The Colonoscopy Review or whatever it was freak (far-flung locale: China) was so horny to ding me, that not only did he do that piece on his site, he went elsewhere after and dinged me a second time with a three star review. Only an idiot wouldn't know exactly why he did that.
And I'll tell you something else: these people are such losers, in this failed-writer/academic/would give my soul to be Colin sect, that they treat these things like power. Like some fat dude in your building who gets elected condo president and then becomes this power-mad, pathetic, officious little tick.
I am finishing the jazz book now. I'm doing it fast in my sweat after running stairs. It's presently at 45,000 words. I also need to confront a bigot at Soft Skull. You have no legit excuse to 1. Not include me and 2. Treat me like fecal matter, a pariah, a leper over years. If you do either, you are a bigot. There is not a single legit reason not to include my work, or to go years without responding. Which is what this f--er--who did the same s-- at Catapult--is doing at his new job. It's discrimination. It sure as f--- is not the work. And I have every kind of work there is.
You know this about me, because you've known me for more than twenty-five years, but really the worst thing you can do is poke me and motivate me. Don't increase the flames under my a--. It will not go the way you want it to go. I'm not talking about you, of course. I'm talking about these sub-humans.