Saturday, August 23, 2008


As promised, here is my last ever "post" about my novel AWESOME. What a relief! And as mentioned earlier, the occasion of this "post" is a summation of AWESOME by the New York Times Book Review. Here is the paragraph we're all going to concentrate on: "Pendarvis is a gifted, good-humored writer. He’s wry and silly, his language full of provocative puns, eloquent blarney and tips of the hat to the absurdity of modern culture. At his best, he is neo-Chaucerian. If you’re game, he’ll show you a rude, jolly time in a universe at once fantastic and familiar." Then the reviewer ends the paragraph like this, as if she were put up to a dare of some sort: "Fee fie foe fun!" (Exclamation point hers.) I will go out on a limb and say that "'Fee fie foe fun!' - The New York Times" is going to be plastered all over the cover of the paperback. So be it! The reviewer is less entranced by my "***** jokes" (WARNING: the "link" is full of racy quotations), of which she gives several examples, some of which, truth be told, appear kind of shameful when they're laid out there cold on the slab like that. As a counterweight, I'd like to "link" here to some kind words from a feminist (she starts out suspicious but I win her over by the last paragraph) who mentioned some of the same ***** jokes and seemed to appreciate what I was "going for" in context. Why do I feel the need for a "counterweight"? It's untoward! Nobody likes a whiny writer! No book review is ever good enough for a precious, precious writer like myself! The New York Times reviewer did a fine job! Also, the book should stand up for itself. But I can't stop typing, apparently. Until now. And as this is the last time I'll ever mention AWESOME (which is about a giant), I will sign off with an email on the subject from my ex-boss Lisa. Writes Lisa: "I'm sure the death a week or so ago of Sandy Allen, the World's Largest Woman, did not escape your notice. She was...awesome...there is no other word for her. Sandy seemed always to be good-natured and had a great sense of humor; she even went one-on-one with Howard Stern. I wrote something on her for the TCM blog," (Lisa continues), "but NOBODY has made any comments on it -- does no one realize what a treasure we lost? I also did something on her on my TV blog. As someone dedicated to the preservation of giants and their greatness, I know that you must have known and loved Sandy, too." No, Lisa, I didn't know about Ms. Allen, but I sure enjoyed your brief and warm essays. P.S. I just received a commiserative email from Tom Bissell about the New York Times review, so maybe it's not as nice as I thought!