Last night, the novel got trashed on American amazon by someone who reduced the whole effort to "Bush bashing"; I found this "review" particularly questionable because there is so much satire in the novel of people and ideas that one would associate with opposing our last Bush and his views and actions (such as unions, academics, "guilty liberals," urban mayors, universities, therapists, Afrocentrists, etc.). An irony here is that at least a couple favorable reviews suggested there should have been more directed and consistent "Bush bashing," which I suppose, is just another reason it's all hopeless.
But right after finding that negative review, no doubt lurking late at night to make me feel the full misery of an exhausted sleeplessness, I then chanced upon John McNally's "advice from an unrepentant novelist" on how to treat negative reviews on amazon. Perfect timing, John; thanks! In a nutshell, he advises not to reply to reviews at all, but to encourage more friends who enjoyed the book to post positive reviews so that casual amazon browsers will see many more positive than negative reviews. His idea seems based upon the good sense that, alas, many of us, even when we are looking for something that will take some time to read, will quickly move on if we don't like the very first thing we see.
OK, following McNally's advice, friends (and why not throw in "and fellow countrymen"), if you're reading, and I haven't recently bugged you about some sales shit you could do to support my novel, not yours, please do take a moment to give Fight for Your Long Day that extra star on amazon. Or goodreads. Or shelfari. Or that groovy library thing you do. Or.
Good. Accomplished, John. Thanks for the tip. Me enjoying your self-help for novelists, as impossible as you know that sounds, and in particular the section where I read that you were at one time an adjunct even more unfavorably employed and poorly paid than Cyrus Duffleman. Well, "enjoy" isn't the right word. And I didn't enjoy the part where you tell us that despite the largely rotten deal you've gotten from life from undergrad to age 35, you still have six published books. You're supposed to be encouraging us, not making us feel like lazy incompentents who have wasted too much of our time on public-speaking and freshman-comp course overloads!
But back to spoken news, word on the street is that an audio book of Fight for Your Long Day is at least agreed to in principle by all who might agree to such.
So I guess that's it. We won't make you read ever again.