You know how in the last post we mentioned that someone called us one of her heroes because she enjoyed a story we wrote before the dawn of man? Well, we just peeked at the Amazon.com reviews of the book our story, "Polaroid," appeared in and would like, if we may, to share some of the choicest for your enjoyment. What you need to know before diving in is that the book featured 15 stories by never-published authors, and it was edited by Stephen Chbosky, the author of The Perks of a Wallflower and the screenplay of Rent. There are only 18 reviews (so, you can already get a sense of what we're dealing with here), so this shouldn't take long. We'll provide commentary in italic whenever we see fit. Oh, and please don't buy the book.
Chbosky should know better, August 29, 2000
Reviewer: A reader
I found this collection to be filled with the kind of tripe one usually encounters in freshman composition. I think it is great MTV is trying to help new writers. I think they did these writers a favor, however, as any decent journal around would reject these stories as cardboard cut-outs of what true short fiction is all about. The Ford's, the O'Brien's, the Boyles of the world all got their starts penning work for serious literary magazines that would stare at these stories and say "These people are young and inspired but a mile away from good." Chbosky is a fine writer but I question his editing skills with these choices. Why not get a serious MTV writer like Goldberg or Nersesian to pick next time?
Some bright young talents, February 26, 2001
|Reviewer:||L. Bestriz "meisels" (Turiste, Italy) - See all my reviews|
Davy Rothbart went on to become, as far as we know, the only person to acheive any sort of fame. He is the editor of the well-respected Found Magazine. Kudos.
I wasn't impressed with these Pieces, April 28, 2001
|Reviewer:||"indie-snob" (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews|
I expected this book to be a masterpiece, but it surely wasn't. The writing was nothing fantastic and half the stories didn't have a well developed plot and I'm terribly disappointed with this work. It's a waste of $
*The first story, Scoring, is about some guys problem with drugs. He wants as many pills as posible-- Not original
*Polaroid is very descriptive, and is almost a circle of the lives of the people surrounding the base of the Eifel Tower.
*Day of the Dead- some guy's weird deal with the author of a health food book and his girlfriend... BAD
*The White Carousel Horse is my favorite story. Its wonderful and sad and shows the chronology of a young girl's deteriorating family.
*First Snow is okay. Its an average jail story
*Carnival is also interesting, you aren't quite exactly sure what its about, but I think its about the guilt of getting an abortion.
*Petty Theft is amazingly stupid. There's not much interesting about it.
*Next Time is weird. Its the story of a housewife's awful marriage and a man trying to rob her home the she befriends, but is killed before he can get out.
*Black Cowboy- more waste of paper
*Pinball- sick, perverted, totally MTV. A man's experiment with gay activities.
*Roam is an interesting story of a cook's experience at the home of the very wealthy. It was at par.
*Mother was a wonderful, heartfelt story. It's actually a worth-while read!
*Respiration was, again, par. It almost seemed like you were in the movies Erin Brokovic or the Rainmaker.
*A Fortune- this sounds like a dumb blonde joke. Not too good.
*Forbidden Fate- ahh... its okay. The story of arranged marriages... not my favorite.
Our story is kind of spared here, with just a brief summary of what it's about. But apparently we have to go start a fire with it, anyway. BRB.
an amazing collection of stories, August 9, 2001
|Reviewer:||Stephen S. Mills (United States) - See all my reviews|