Note: Contents of email from my brother-in-law containing review of my novel — The Mystery Man Murder — that he tried and tried to post on Amazon.
His name is withheld to protect his innocence, or privacy. Whatever.
It helps to know that my novel begins on April Fool’s Day.
01 Apr 2012 email from BIL
Subject : lame april fool’s commemoration
My memory, and no I can’t confirm, is that Dave Eggers conducted a contest in which entrants would write reviews of his Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius at Amazon, and the winner would be the reviewer who had attained the highest “is this review useful.”
Two important restrictions:
– the review must rate HWoSG with the highest rating;
– the review must make no mention of any plot, character, theme, technique of HWoSG; the review must be clearly about anything but HWoSG.
That caper wasn’t April Fool’s. But shortly before. The April Fool’s jokes were
– Howard Stern’s radio show, which for just a small number of days was my clock-radio setting, was taken over, replaced by other programming, which went on for thirty minutes before Howard et al gave up the gag; and
– McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Eggers, contribution to the world-wide-web, gave up the URL to the McSweeney family in Chicago, because Eggers had forgotten to renew. The family McSweeney had great visibility for, to my memory, more than five days.
So the weak April Fool’s commemoration is my review of The Mystery Man Murders, which I have agonized over, and was set to send to amazon this afternoon, until amazon had a forty-eight hour blackout for new members (no doubt set in place by Eggers’ antics) and the forty-eight hours don’t begin until the account makes a purchase. Care to guess how many screens I had to navigate to request account closure? A representative is contacting me within twelve hours this very minute. I hope not from that heinous distribution facility outside Allentown where summertimes amazon keeps EMS vehicles queued in the parking lot as precaution against contractor heat-stroke ;=
<<< customer service responded twice . . . nearly identical messages . . . of over twenty lines . . . asking confirm >>>
So, on this fourth anniversary of the seat-belt strapping and commencement of the bumpy ride, here is a review I was close to being comfortable providing to Jeff and company, but didn’t make allowance for paying to provide to Jeff and company.
And so here, for that courageous, compassionate, and intelligent Mystery Man Murders by Jon Rieley-Goddard, I offer the following:
The author has constructed a series of mis-en-scene as sumptuous as the steam tables in late sixties cafeteria. Creamed chipped beef on toast, that somewhat dated and vaguely over-choles-seroled treat? Now there’s a dish that lets the reader decide: does he prefer plot over character, extol dialog over reportage? In so many dimensions does he savour comfort over flavour? Surely an old gum shoe, as much as creamed chipped beef, delivers both. Let’s admit Mystery Man Murders to that class.
Are the clichés and metaphors as hard as durum simile? Nah. . . more like sausage or wurst, served with bald-pog moussed-art on a shorn, boasted pun.
The Mystery Man Murders makes even dark and stormy seem a fair shot better. Makes Dash Hammett regret that first trench coat and makes Ray Chandler wish the properties department at Warner Bros reveal the Maltese Falcon as the shoe-shined, sawdust-filled, carnival-midway gewgaw handed out by hundreds everywhere as reward in games of skill and chance it really is. And accidental readers like myself wondering had the cable/broadband/Netflix providers offered just one single channel more, might we have spared ourself the regret of flipping even the very first page.
I suppose we are all, in our own way, diagramming life’s sentences like chalk lines in so many parlors on so many early mornings, and there is something daring and alarming and universal about a some-time man of the cloth exclaiming: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,” arguing “Salvation or redemption,” as lesser among us choose New York style or deep-dish, frothy mugs of root beer served up alongside. If you were to see the world as it approaches rather than as it simply passes by, I heartily recommend you get Jon Rieley-Goddard’s The Mystery Man Murders, and he will Adirondack you into rowing your boat seated facing forward as they seat themselves when rowing down east.
Rating: Five Stars
>>>>>>>>>> sorry for the tone, chalk it up to cruel month, trusting no one, lifetime of days, soul of duplicity <<<<<<<<<<
Wait, wait, there’s more:
Heavens! I’ve just seen a rich man poking a camel hard in the eye with a needle.
Happy April Fools