Wednesday, June 13, 2012

That awful moment when ...

... you're reviewing a book, and you get to the bit where normally, you would just declare the whole thing tedious and toss it to one side. But, because you're reviewing it for cash and publication, you must continue to grate your eyeballs upon each and every tedious page. You must resist the urge to accidentally drop it in the fire. You must reach the final sentence and only then will you be able to state, with utmost authority, that this is a book will waste hours of precious lives that could be better spent picking the gunge from the corner of toenails.



  1. Still on the first page then?

  2. Hell, I used to feel like that when reviewing books for free, knowing the only 'payment' was the cruddy book itself. Some did help raise my computer monitor a bit higher up on my desk though and, if recall correctly, you have a fire in your house, so some kindling might come in handy.

  3. This is why I don't do reviews. I've had a few emails asking if I'd like to review books, but if the book is hopelessly boring or tediously filled with unnecessary details I wouldn't be reading to the very last page, so a proper review would be impossible.

  4. Oh dear.
    I get the same sometimes when asked to review papers, and they are only about 6-8 pages. The hardest part is when I can't actually understand what they are trying to say.
    I feel rude sending them back covered with red pen, especially since it is not anonymous, but I guess that's the point of the review process.

  5. Dan - No - finished, at last! But still, there was a lot of filler to wade through.

    Kath - FREE! Thou art indeed noble. The other sad bit is that I can't even bring myself to throw the shit ones away.

    River - You know, you've got a bloody good point there. I bet you're not spending a few hours this weekend reviewing a half-baked novel when you could be doing other things.

    Looki - Damn straight. If you don't tell them their fly's down, more people are just going to see the brown undies of mediocrity.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32