Ruminating On: Requesting Reviews from Strangers

After having a zombie/fantasy indie author send me a review request with the opener “Someone who reviewed something of mine thought you would love my book!”, I thought I would post a list of instructions for indies who feel the need to send review requests to people they do not know. Namely, me.

 

1. Be polite. If someone sent you, don’t be vague. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind you dropping their online persona or first name in the email. When you don’t, I automatically believe that you’ve made up this “someone” in an attempt to guilt trip me into reading your book. Since I literally do not know anyone who has read your books (at least not on Goodreads, because I checked), I’m assuming this is the case.

 

2. Do your research. I don’t read fantasy or zombie books on the reg. Not a fan, sorry. I even stopped watching Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead over a year ago. When I do read zombie and/or fantasy fiction, I usually hate it. I’m not the guy you want reviewing your undead hunt for the one ring beyond the north wall of Narnia.

 

3. I don’t take review requests. I request books for review from websites like Netgalley, Edelweiss, and Blogging for Books. There is a subtle difference. Mainly, I go looking for books to read. They are not thrust upon me. This is a good thing for both the author and myself. This way, I don’t feel obligated to read your book. When that happens, I usually dislike the book because I feel like I’m being forced to read it.

 

4. This one goes out specifically to the chap that emailed me this morning. For the love of the blood of sweet baby Tom Cruise, get some better cover art. Those covers, man… they’re a crime against humanity. 

 

5. And I feel this is the most important number, the one number to rule them all! (so to speak), so listen up: I’m an author. Had you given my Goodreads account even a cursory glance, you would have seen that. If I did review your book, Amazon would likely take it down. If I love your book and review it on Goodreads, many reviewers will think I was review-swapping, or doing a friend a favor. If I review your book and don’t like it, I’d be seen as elitist. You and your gaggle of besties would likely clanfuck my books with your one-star boners. 

 

Review etiquette isn’t hard. It mainly involves research so as not to bug your potential reviewer. There are literally hundreds (maybe even thousands) of reviewers who love fantasy, zombies, and/or fantasy with zombies. Why would you even consider approaching me?

 

This has been a public service announcement from the letter E.

 

*hugs and high fives* 

 

(Note: This post can be shared wherever you chose as long as the original creator (Edward Lorn, that’s me!) is mentioned. Reblogging is fine, as well.)

 

 

Original post:
edwardlorn.booklikes.com/post/1213674/ruminating-on-requesting-reviews-from-strangers

Windows 10 Tomorrow

 

Tomorrow will be the first time ever that I update my current computer. In the past, the only updates I’ve used have been the ones already installed on new hardware. I’m a little worried/OCD/paranoid, so I’ve spent the past two weeks double and triple bagging my files. I have over 800 stories and 25 trunk novels I don’t want to lose, as well as 110 different cover images and projects. All my family photos are backed up in four different devices and I have filled the free space available on my free Google Docs and Dropbox accounts. I believe I am prepared. Bring on Y2K!

 

I’m not sure how this computer will handle a new OS. If I should go dark for a few days, you know why. 

 

Anybody else updating? Anybody else worried?

Original post:
edwardlorn.booklikes.com/post/1212703/windows-10-tomorrow

We Are Still Here Movie Review

Review:

 

Who’s tired of watching good movies tarnished by subpar acting? For the love of Tom Cruise, I am. Like the aforementioned Cruisen deity, the actors in the movie are one-note individuals who, at times, cannot even hold that single note. This really pisses me off because the movie isn’t bad. The acting is just terrible. Nowhere is that more obvious than with our lead female Annie. The movie opens with her damp-eyed and depressed in the passenger seat of a car as it rumbles along to its final destination – The house from Hell. She’s lost her son, and she’s sad. Cool beans, as the poet once said. But it soon becomes painfully clear that this opening scene is the best acting we’re going to see in the entire film. The possession scene almost surpassed the opening bit of acting but became far too over the top for my liking. That actor tried his best. He really, really did. But there’s only so much you can do with shit writing. Maybe he should take up being a Jack Nicholson impersonator? Maybe Vegas is hiring for such a gig?

 

One final note on the actors: There’s this lady who plays a woman named May. It’s obvious she’s… had some work done. Botox… lip implants… something. It was distracting as fuck. I couldn’t take this perpetually duck-faced actress seriously. Take into account that this movie was set in the 70s and her entire face seems out of place, too modern. I honestly never thought I would say someone’s face looked too modern. This is the level to which I’ve stooped with my reviewing career. “Her face was too modern.” Fuck my life.

 

So why did I give it two stars and not one? Welp, friends and neighbors, the storyline and special FX were not terrible. I dug the twisty plot, and I especially enjoyed the effects on the ghosts. Some of the gore looked amateurish, but the actual makeup and CGI-heatwaves on the returning family rocked my socks. I simply wish these special FX would have been in a better movie. 

 

I will leave off with a note on the writing. The person who wrote the script needs a lesson in forced foreshadowing and exposition. More importantly, a course on why you shouldn’t do either if you want to be taken seriously. Then again, if you deleted both of those things from this script, you’d have about fifteen minutes of dialogue in this film. 

 

In summation: The cinematography was okay. The writing and acting were both garbage. The special FX on the ghosts was cool, but the blood and gore was goofy. The story tried to be something different in a genre plagued with the same old same old, so I give it credit for attempting something outside the norm.

 

Final Judgment: Wasn’t a complete waste of time but you’re not missing anything by skipping it either.

Original post:
edwardlorn.booklikes.com/post/1212441/we-are-still-here-movie-review

Summer House with Swimming Pool Review

Review:

Summer House with Swimming Pool - Herman Koch

ETA: It’s been brought to my attention that Koch is Dutch and not Norwegian. Sorry about that.

I’m conflicted. Mainly because I don’t know to whom I should give half of the credit. Herman Koch is a Norwegian author who seems incapable of telling a poorly-told tale. But I have no idea how good of a writer he is. You see, Koch doesn’t write in English. His novels are translated by a guy named Sam Garrett. I know things get lost or changed in translation. This is fact. There are words in English that simply do not exist in other languages and vice versa. But it should be known that, while I do not know who to congratulate, this book read exquisitely well, as did my first Koch read, The Dinner. And guess what? Sam translated that one too. Who gets the credit for this butter-smooth prose? Unless I learn Norwegian, I’ll never know.

What I do know is, Summer House with Swimming Pool is an amazingly well-told story about people who’re terrible at being human. Several tough subjects are broached: infidelity, euthanasia, age of consent, and capital punishment for child molesters (which I agree with, no bones about it; I believe a person who forces themselves on a child shouldn’t share the air I breathe, even moreso than a murderer because a pedophile’s victims continue to suffer long after the act, whereas a murderer’s victim is dead and gone.)

The plot is wonderfully twisty, but the twists and turns are only half the entertainment value to be had. The exemplary character writing floored me, even moreso than with The Dinner. At first, Summer House with Swimming Pool was okay. I found it bit unfocused and confusing, but I needn’t have worried. All was brought to light by the end. And then it jumped from okay to good… from good to great… from great to amazing. In the simplest language, it kept getting better and better. That cannot be said for many novels. But do not get me wrong. The book didn’t start badly and get better. It maintained upward momentum throughout. I will be talking about this novel for some time.

A word of warning to those of you who believe this to be light summer reading, as suggested by the cutesy blue-and-yellow cover. This book can be at times disturbing. There is a scene involving a needle and an eyeball. I will say no more. If you believe that such things should never come in contact with each other and that having them do so would ruin your reading experience, please pass up this novel. If you’re like me and you enjoy disturbing content, hop aboard. We’ll be making stops at least every fifty pages.

In summation: Herman Koch is now on my Must-Buy list. He has a new novel coming in 2016 and I am now eagerly awaiting it. I might have to take up Norwegian so I can read his earlier books, or, you know, Crown Publishing can get the lead out of their asses and publish the rest of this dude’s back catalog. Love ya for it.

Final Judgment: Will probably end up on my Top Five of 2015 list.

I received this book from http://www.bloggingforbooks.org/ for this review. They make me say that because of the FTC and all that jazz. It didn’t sway my final judgment. If you have a problem with that, maybe seek counseling and stop worrying about what other people do.

Original post:
edwardlorn.booklikes.com/post/1210417/summer-house-with-swimming-pool-review

Blue Ruin Mini Movie Review

Review:

 

Dearest Hollywood, I want more movies like this.

 

I will not sully the experience that is Blue Ruin by explaining why it’s the best thriller I’ve seen in damn near five years. Watch it, and then we’ll discuss it. It’s on Netflix. Go on. I’ll be here when you get back.

 

In summation: Highly recommended to everyone who can stand brutal content. 

 

Final Judgment: Watch this fucking movie.

Original post:
edwardlorn.booklikes.com/post/1209654/blue-ruin-mini-movie-review