Friday, March 28, 2008

Wow, my first really bad review!

I stand here amazed. I got my first really really really bad review. It's up at Neth Space.

He says it was so bad he could only make it through the first 100 pages.
I don't know if he actually read the book at all though because he says
"Much of the first hundred pages are told in a first person narration."
But ALL of the first 100 pages are told in the first person. So am not sure what he means?

Then he says the book lacks subtly with religious things and says things are
"a bit on the conservative side for me."
But there isn't any kind of Christian religiosity in the first 100 pages. There is nothing religious at all. It's a tribal culture. And there's definitely no "conservative side" going on. I mean...WTF? Someone on a forum he and I belong to stated to Neth that the book was heavy-handed in some areas. Okay, putting aside that my muslim buddhist friends and my atheist friends didn't find it heavy-handed, I'll just say that any Christian elements appear in the last 100 pages of Wind Follower. Not the first 100 pages.

He says my main female character goes from strong-willed to meek and subservient for no apparent reason. Apparently, those three scenes where her mother tells her that if her father's debt isn't paid off he will be sold into slavery weren't reason enough. I've been told by an Arabian friend that my story shows how many women feel when they realize they might have married a man who might be a bully. Apparently Satha's fears and the moments when she does challenge her husband is deemed subservient.

Then, a poster Charlotte Byrd, posted that the book contained sections that were anti-Gnostics. This was weird cause she too admits that she didn't finish reading the book and even weirder cause I wasn't even thinking of the gnostics when I wrote Wind Follower. Heck, Christianity has tons of denominations that have added their own texts and prophets: Mary Baker Eddy's Health and Science, The Seventh Day Adventists and the Writings of Miss White, Joseph Smith's Writings. And if one considers that Mohammed was connected to the early Christians, one might even wish to add him into the mix of books influenced by the Jewish and Christian Bibles. So I was pretty much making fun of all Christian denominationalism, including my own.

Then, Neth answered that if I was picking on gnosticism then he definitely wouldn't read Wind Follower. Totally odd! What's that about? Gossip and assumptions build and build on top of false foundations. Now Neth's going to go around saying Wind Follower has an anti-Gnostics swipe.....all based on his not finishing the book and his believing the comment from someone else who didn't finish reading the book.

In addition, he is on several of the forums I am on and he seems to delight in bringing up some comment about my reaction to his review. I keep my mouth shut while he behaves as if he is the prince of manners. But is it good manners for him to keep badmouthing me? Why does he bring me up all the time? By name, no less. What the heck is going on here?

But some folks did defend me and another blogger got so interested in the mini-storm in the mini-teapot that he wants to read it for himself. So maybe this is all good.

Well Wind Follower has gotten some great reviews. Publishers Weekly (September 07) gave it a good review and said,
her elegant, meticulous world-building shimmers with the ambience of an old-world folktale

Library Journal (October 07) recommended it as a book for Black History Month.
Other reviewers have also really liked it.
J Kaye's Book Blog, The long and short, John Ottinger's Grasping the Wind, Mir's Mind Flight and Karen McSpadden's Disturbing The Universe: Reviews And Rants

Then Carl Brandon Society chose me as one of their recommended books for Black History Month and Wind Follower was nominated for the Clive Staples Award and the Pluto Award
(I recently was watching The First 48, a crime reality cop show. On that particular episode one 18 year old killed another 18 year old because he had heard the kid was gonna kill him. But of course the kid wasn't. Also am thinking of the white kids in Long Island who went to beat up a black kid because they had "heard" the black kid was planning to rape a white girl. The stupidity of these kids' abilities to read the mind of a would-be killer aside, it's amazing this mindreading ability created such a fuel that they went to the black kids' house. The father of the black kid shot them in self-defense. And of course all this is based on suppositions, lies, and people talking sh*t. It really has me thinking about the cruelty and the sinfulness of people speaking about what they don't know anything about.)

Yeah, a bad review is nothing compared to the death of two people....but it's scary that this kind of gossiping and unfounded talk can go on. I, for one, have never been comfortable with talking too badly about a book I've never read.

So I really should let it all bounce off me because no book can please everyone. Still and all, that a book could be so liked in one area and so savaged in another.....well, it makes one wonder! It really shows that it's all a matter of taste.

Check out this wonderful post called the book is not that interesting.

Kinda puts it all in perspective and ... I find myself in good company.
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