It was a good week for reviews of Fight for Your Long Day from people I don't know. I think this solid one from Author's Exposure makes some valid points about the (mostly) pros and cons. I understand the lack of "logic" he speaks of, and yet, possibly there is some literary misfiring, so to speak, at play in the ending that is.
And then, Aaron at goodreads gave it 3 stars but called it a 3.5 star book. I noticed that he's stingier with the stars than I am, and he even has some 2-star ratings for books seen as respectable to great by just about everyone (Richard Ford's The Sportswriter, for example, although admittedly that's no Independence Day).
And finally, I got the 1-star special from a "reader" who stops on page 75, calls the author "racist," "classist," and then proves doctoral credentials by using the word "problematic" and the phrase "socially structured privilege and oppression." Well, "I'm returning this," why yes, as a matter fact, I am about to enjoy some scrumptious, finger-licking fried chicken on my subway ride back to work. And truth be told, one star is on the mark here, as it was the fried chicken fumes and advertisements all over Seoul, South Korea, where I was writing the first draft, that no doubt led to this inclusion in a Philadelphia story. Anyone with eyes or nose or stomach can clearly see that in a perfectly polished final draft, the fried chicken would of course be chicken cheesesteaks and the kisses Cyrus then procures from the bottom of his satchel in fact would be frayed remnants of salty soft pretzel marooned at the bottom of the bag. Everyday, I know more and more why some "real novelists" never read customer reviews or return to their books that are already in print.
Well, if you're out there "I'm returning this," to be fair, I could reimburse you personally if the book has been such a burden. Alas, as you know or surmise, I can't offer you fair compensation for the contract labor you are about to embark upon, but I could send you up to $14.95. This would not be a problem although I'd prefer you give Fight for Your Long Day a few more hours of your precious time. It is a novel worth reflecting upon, or at least that's what the vast majority of reviewers seem to indicate. The Robert Watts review on amazon could be a good place to start.
And years from now, one star, when we are both safely ensconced among the forgotten millions, and with time on our hands, we can sit down and break biscuits and grumble about white meat, wings, legs, and thighs, and all else beyond the plate.
And good luck.
And, well, fight for your long day!
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