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Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: July 26, 2005 08:04AM

Okay, something tells me this book reviewer does not have a sense of humor (or humour) at all!

"Mystery Can't Put Plot Together Again" - Review by RON BERNAS

Re: Panned!
Posted by: Ffran (156.63.195.---)
Date: July 26, 2005 09:51PM

No egg-heads need apply for the job of book reviewer at the Detroit Free Press, I guess.....

If people did not sometimes do silly things, nothing intelligent would
ever get done.

— Ludwig Wittgenstein

Re: Panned!
Posted by: poetscientistdrinker (
Date: July 26, 2005 11:13PM

I don't think you can worry about a bad review - it's like anything, people have different tastes, and when it comes to reviews the trick is to find a reviewer whose taste you share and stick to them.

BOE was at number 3 in the hardback fiction chart last weekend, so Mr Ff is clearly doing pretty well, regardless of the reviews.

I haven't actually started the book yet, but I'll let you know what I think when I'm finished.



This is the work of an Italian narco-anarchic collective. Don't bother insulting them, they can't read English anyway.

Re: Panned!
Posted by: PrincessP (
Date: August 04, 2005 06:04AM

Well, it stated that he reviewed mysteries. Nothing about humor, literary (or nursery-rhyme) allusion, etc. Fforde's style was probably outside the reviewer's comfort zone.

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. --- Edgar Allan Poe

Re: Panned!
Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: August 05, 2005 04:01AM

~~Okay, something tells me this book reviewer does not have a sense of humor (or humour) at all!

"Mystery Can't Put Plot Together Again" - Review by RON BERNAS ~~

As someone who lives in the Detroit area, it doesn't surprise me that this came from the Free Press. Not that I normally slam the Free Press. In fact, out of the two Detroit papers available, it's the one I buy almost daily. However, I must say that this wouldn't be the first entirely unfair review given by a Free Press critic. Just to give you an idea of how often I've found them lacking, I never saw this article, because I quit reading ANY reviews printed in the Free Press years ago. ::grin:: Then, reviews aren't an entirely fair summery of any kind of art, literary or otherwise. Art is subjective--an amalgam of personality, taste, imagination, and personal experience. It only stands to reason, therefore, that critique would follow suit.

I guess finding a reliable critic (if there is such a thing) is like finding a comfortable pair of trousers: You'll have to test out several to see which fits you properly. If you generally agree with their conclusions, then it's likely safe to take future suggestions; if you generally don't, well, you'll know better next time. (And if you always don't, you can use them as a left-handed guide by taking whatever they don't like as something potentially wonderful. ::grin::)

Post Edited (08-05-05 05:02)

Re: Panned!
Posted by: splat21 (
Date: August 07, 2005 11:15AM

I'm curious now Azy - you're from Detroit with a Geordie tagline (zat a version of Blaydon Races?)? Or are you an ex-pat Magpie?

Not that it's any of my business...

_ _ _ _ _

If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur.

Re: Panned!
Posted by: IHazon303 (
Date: August 07, 2005 12:34PM

Bless his heart, he missed the point a bit really.

I liken Jasper's books to comedy along the lines of Spaced and Father Ted (and probably several more things I've not seen myself) in that there are clever jokes, surreal jokes, slapstick jokes, and a bucket-load of clever references thrown in for further intelligent comic effect.

Part of the entertainment for me is spotting the references. I've started reading the classics after the Thursday Next series and I'm still 'getting' jokes all the time.

From reading that review, I'd like to know who he refers to when he says

- "By page 200, readers will want to scream "enough" then realize there are 200 pages to go."

Probably the kind of readers who wouldn't read the book in the first place

Re: Panned!
Posted by: Wee Willie (
Date: August 07, 2005 01:29PM

"And by page 400, Fforde's worn out his welcome, undone by his own cleverness.

RON BERNAS is a Free Press copy editor. He reviews mysteries."

Good thing he isn't a mathmatician. The U.S. vesion only has 383 pages.

Re: Panned!
Posted by: jaberjen (
Date: August 07, 2005 05:00PM

Just finished this morning. What a scream. Has Fforde ever been to the west coast, because Spongg's Castle has to be the Winchester House. And the article about the five little piggies!

What Mr. Fforde really needs to do is incorporate a really brilliant bit about book reviewers in his next work.

Re: Panned!
Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: August 08, 2005 02:15AM

~~Good thing he isn't a mathmatician. The U.S. vesion only has 383 pages.~~

ROTFLH! Lordy, lordy! Perhaps he was counting the picture pages as well. Regardless, when I read the article to my mum she said, and I quote, "That was a wonderful review! Makes me want to go buy the book." And she wasn't even kidding a little. I had to agree, it was an excellent review. Just an excellent review written by a total git who needs Spratt to look into who murdered his sense of humour.

Personally, I think Mr. Bernas wasn't "clever" enough to follow the plot. You have to admit, it was multifaceted to the extreme. I guess if your mind isn't able to work anti-clockwise when life calls for it you would have a hard time following it. I mean, Fforde did what he told us he was going to do in WOLP: He made a book that utilised as many plots (and plot devices) as possible. (By the by, wasn't Humpty dealing in Béarnaise sauce somewhere along the way? Maybe Bernas thought it some private and personal insult. ::grin:: Or maybe I just imagined it all.)

Re: Panned!
Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: August 08, 2005 02:32AM

~~I'm curious now Azy - you're from Detroit with a Geordie tagline (zat a version of Blaydon Races?)? Or are you an ex-pat Magpie?~~

I was born in Detroit, raised in Detroit, and have lived around Detroit my entire life. Though, there is a reason for the Geordie tagline: I love Newcastle United and have for twenty+ years. There's much more to the story, trust me, but I won't get into it here. (If you're curious, you may feel free to e-mail me for the full explanation.)

One of the reasons I use a lot of British spelling and slang, which I'm sure you'll pick up on eventually, is that I grew up on British comedy and drama and have picked it up along the way. Not to mention that it was an exceptional means of antagonising evil English teachers in school. Not too easy to ding a kid on incorrect spelling when they can explain which came first, why the variations arose, and why it should be acceptable. (Not too many 7th grade English teachers are ready to debate the Anglo-French influence on suffixes commonly used in written English with a 12-year-old. ::grin::) Nonetheless, I've been immersed in British language and culture for most of my life. I even write for a primarily British audience. We all have our own little idiosyncrasies that make us who we are. I guess that's mine.

Re: Panned!
Posted by: splatali (
Date: August 08, 2005 03:09PM

Cool, a Detroit Magpie - bet there aren't too many around... cheers for the explanation.

Re: Panned!
Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: August 08, 2005 04:00PM

~~Cool, a Detroit Magpie - bet there aren't too many around...~~

No, it is a lonely existence. You've no idea how annoying it is to see the only footy articles in the newspaper revolve around A. High School teams, B. World Soccer, or C. David Beckam. He doesn't even have to score the blinking goals and they make it sound like he's the only footy player in the world! Annoys me to no end!

~~cheers for the explanation.~~

Not a problem. When one appreciates one's personal eccentricities, there's never difficulty explaining them.

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