Thursday, March 1, 2007

briefly falling off the face of the earth, oh, and sockpuppets

Shortly I depart for Vancouver (BC), thence to Newberg OR to attend the An Tir Arts & Sciences Championship
I'll be judging a couple of entries, giving feedback on others, catching up with my apprentices and visiting with friends. I probably won't be online.
The weekend after this one I'll be at Potlatch, in Portland. Two weekends near Powells! I may need to hire bearers in order to return home.
In order to avoid driving/border/ferry and ferry/border/driving only a few days apart, I'll be staying in the States, in Seattle, and visiting with friends for the week between. The online accessibility of the friends is uncertain, though one has promised "to browse museums, troll bookstores, roll drunks, whatever your littel heart desires!"

And what's the internet in comparison to that?

In the meantime, for your reading enjoyment, here's a selection of sockpuppet spam from the ABEBooks forums, with identifying marks filed off. Tell me, if you like, which of these describe the book in enough detail that you could make any sort of decision about whether you'd like to read them:

A) How to Be Rich
I used to remember reading some books on financial literacy and how to make money and all about money ideas and the myths about money. There's this one particular quotation that captures my attention until today. " Money is not evil, the lack of money is evil' Is there anyone out there who can give me more book titles that talks about improving our knowledge on money?
Well, there's one in particular which is great found in by the way. That's my contribution and question for this time.
Fairly low-key, though the asking of a question and answering it oneself is rather transparent. The book is about making money, presumably, and the website is provided by way of ordering information.

B) The K--t W--n of N-- O--s R--.
Just finished reading it. It's a pageturner with a couple of interesting twists, reminescent of Alexander Dumas' "Twenty Years After" and Mark Twain's "The Prince and the Pauper," only it's set in antebellum New Orleans and New York. Most of the book is written in contemporary English, with a few stylized 19th Century passages and a couple of regional-sounding dialogues thrown in for color, I guess.
The company that published the novel claims that it's ONLY available on their website (no entry, no third-party distributor). They call themselves M--y N--e Publishing -
The blurb says the book is the first part of a trilogy. I'm not sure whether the trilogy is already written, or planned, or what. I loved the novel. It works just fine as a stand-alone.
This one provides a setting, though only the vaguest hints as to plot. I guess it may be about dispossessed royalty and disillusioned musketeers, only in New York. Maybe.
The pretended uncertainty "for color, I guess" "I'm not sure whether" is rather sweet in a faux-naif way, but you'll notice he remembered to include the url.

C) Soucide in Love
The book B--e R--s is a very, very, great book. I really enjoyed it. It has to do with a guy named Henry who attempted to soucide and is sent to a mental hospital; where he falls in love with his therapist. I am the son of the author, My name is B-- B--, I am 12 years old. It was a bit complicated to me. But I got to finish reading it, and honestly, I am very proud of my father.
Who could resist? The kid shilling for his dad, it's either sweet or a bit icky. I could spell suicide when I was 12, though, and I have to wonder why the kid didn't pick up the correct spelling from the book, which by the way, sounds a bit adult in content to give a 12 year old.

D:1) The S--o S--d S--y: Against the W--
I would highly recommend this book to - anyone who loves dogs - anyone who enjoys amazing 'true life' stories - anyone who believes that spirituality does play a part in Life.
This is a story of an amazing woman and her struggles to bring a breed of dog into existence; a dog similar to those she remembers from her childhood, whose magnifigence and gentle manner have been long forgotten! It is the story of the 'politics' of dog breeding and showing; anyone interested in buying a purebred dog of any breed should read this, to make sure they know exactly what they're buying.
Most of all, it is the story of the development S--o S--d, and the ISSR, the only registry for the S--h S--d.
A truly great read!
Apparently one sock wasn't enough, despite the extravagant praise. The author needed the pair:
D:2) What a beautiful book.....I bought the book based on the cover photo's. Gorgeous dogs, I had heard of them but knew they were a rare breed and never investigated any further. After reading this book, I want one ! ! The story takes you on a roller coaster through this ladies life. Wow! ! It is so poignant and forthright with a twist of humour and excitement 'just at the right times' to keep you wanting to read more.
The design??? Is of the best quality I have seen in a paperback for a long time. The cover photo's jump out at you and there is even a picture of William Lee Golden of the Oak Ridge Boys on the back cover. They are one of my favorite gospel groups. The pages are a glossy nice texture and feel, I really like it. I would not have expected that in a paperback. It even has color pictures inside, what beautiful dogs....I want one ! !
I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend. EXCELLENT READ ! !
Because nothing adds value to a book about dog breeding like a photo of some guy from a gospel group. This second post caused some questioning (and laughter) among the regulars, resulting in the third footfall:
D:3) For you're info; I purchased the book here from Abebooks. After reading this wonderful story and enjoying the book and picture's I may just purchase the limited edition as a collectors item. I have several books of this nature. With all this controversy that book may just amount to something. There is the paperback on Amazon and Abebooks listed for $18.95. Please keep you're comments to the review of the book and not personal attacks. I wrote how I felt about the book. It seems as though the Author's enemies she talks about have found there way here into a simple book review? These must be some awsome animals to stirr this much emotion and jealousy. Thanks for validating her story of being a truly great memoir.
The price is at last mentioned. No website or isbn, though. Low marks for both spelling and logic.

E) B--h the c--s and c-- l--s, new Indian book on extremism.
M-- P--’s novel led me to a refreshing literary experience. One should keenly observe the author's insight in the Indian culture and traditions while reading this book. Two ancient characters have been used in this book, as a metaphor, as the hero and heroine. Arjuna was an ideal fighter in Mahabharatha, in the eternal battle between right and wrong, where as Ahalya represents a curse befallen society which awaits a stone like persistence.
Novel excerpts
"Amma, why are some people very rich and some poor?" Arjunan asked his mother as he wept. "Why do the strong inflict the weak? Isn’t it unjust? How humble Meenakshi was, Amma. Why did they kill her?"
"Son, one does what he has to do in each lifetime, and if he does it selflessly, without regard for gain or loss, he may finally rest in perfection and be free of the cycles of birth and death. What we suffer in this life is the outcome of our actions in previous lifetimes," his mother had said, quoting from the Bhagavad-Gita: The Song of God and its views on human nature and the purpose of life, and hugging him. Arjunan did not understand her fully. He felt Amma was just consoling him as she always did.
"Amma, I will fight injustice when I grow up," Arjunan had told his mother before he fell asleep.
Many more excerpts were provided. Many. Points for honesty, though the plot remains vague. This one posted two or three times, in different forums, but never engaged in discussion. I was told he posted on other book discussion boards as well.

F:1) Reader from across the pond
I've just found a new - new to me anyway - author, J-- C--, and been blown away by this guy's talent. Amazon (UK) has a number of great reviews but until I read his book, A--A M--E, I knew nothing of his work. Read the review I sent to Amazon below, first time I ever sent in a review, and check out C--'s web-site:
My review follows:
How refreshing to read a crime novel where the lead detective, a prerequisite of the genre, is not a middle-aged male with commitment deficiencies, a maverick approach to the job, problems with his superiors, a private life based around excessive alcohol consumption and an understandably solitary home background.
A--a M--e is refreshing for this reason alone, but for so much more as well. In the character of Donna we have a female lead who manages to be simultaneously feisty yet feeble, opinionated but doomed to bow to the opinions of others and a free spirit who is obliged to conform to the wishes of her elders. I adored the complex characterisation of Donna, wonderfully portrayed by the author. I have already read J-- C--'s debut novel and have been a fan since then, but this new book transcends even M--'s B--y in the breadth of its scope and the sheer quality of the writing. The action shifts from Merseyside to Kent and across an entire Continent until we reach the final denouement in the remote wastes of the High Atlas. Few authors would have the breadth of imagination to attempt a novel of such diversity and fewer still would have the ability to carry it off.
J-- C-- does everything with such style; his descriptive passages are masterpieces of the written word where the reader feels as if he is actually present such is the quality of the writing and the dialogue leaps from the page, the precise nature of each character being immediately apparent to the reader.
I have passed my copy of A--a M--e to my wife who is now chiding me for my failure to enthuse about the delicate balance between humour and sheer naked terror which are characteristic of the author. Suffice it to say that on several occasions I laughed out loud while reading this book and was also frequently transported to a state of naked fear at the savage ferocity of the arch-villain Marcus. The return of Marcus is reason enough to buy this book - he is a character whose every appearance on the page induces a mixture of delight and horror on the part of the reader.
Check out the author's website I found it through a search on Google. It appears that a third book is on the way.
This has been only the second time I have submitted a review of a novel and I fear my poor efforts have been woefully inadequate in conveying my sheer delight on reading the book. Buy it! Read it! Enjoy! A masterpiece of the genre by a writer at the height of his creative powers.
F:2) My God, I thought I was the only fan of J-- C-- to be praising this man to the skies, another Brit as well by the sound of it. I can only agree with every word you say, this is a special writer, a great story-teller who manages to combine the pace and power of a thriller with great sensitivity and humour. All my friends, both sexes and a couple in-betweens, agree he is a great find. I have devoured both his books and have heard there is a third on the way. Read samples on the website and join the ranks of the converted. By the way, J-- C-- is from England, but don't let that put you off - so was Charles Dickens!
Ah, the sock-puppet duet. Considerably more plot information than the standard, but such a jumble I don't come out with any idea what's going on. Donna's character is explained 3 times, without clarifying it. Not a good sign for the book. Website and means of ordering included, but no price or isbn.

G) New Sci-Fi Thriller:The E--d of T--e
For those who enjoy a good sci-fi novel check out The E--d of T--e by R-- T--.
"The E--d of T--e is a new story based on an old idea: good versus evil, but R-- has made this a totally different story. It's a tale of two lovers torn apart by evil, the story of what man must suffer before he can know true happiness, the "truth" of why we are here. Overall, it is a good, fast paced story, with interesting characters, an epic battle and a satisfying ending. The often-written good versus evil story is done in an interesting enough way to make it stand out from other stories of a similar genre, and the plot moves with speed and it's hard to put it down."
This is notable for its complete absence of plot information, as well as website or ordering information. Forumites pointed out that this blurb three times describes the story as old; possibly not the best sales technique. And it's about good versus evil. Well, who should I root for?

H) A B--'s N--e,,,By S-- Q--,,,
Can Anyone offer information on the Book "A B--'s N--e" by S-- Q--. There is alot happening with it on Ebay, Item number 6955540106. But no one seems to know much about it or the writter. People have been saying it has some kind of major Masonic Story written into it? Can anyone help??
People are blind only until they have been shown the light. "Feedback, if you notice, the book has been selling not only on ebay, but through other online stores. There is alot happening with this book, but no one knows what. No one has posted feedback because the Author is not sending the books out until the auction finishes. He's a smart guy, but he "If he is a he" won't talk. We know for a fact that he will be in the states this fall and that interest is high. Book dealers are buying this book. There is something fishy going on. We also know that he's knocked back a book deal from a large publishing house. Time will tell. If his words are right some lucky people will be laughing. Oh And on the note of Harry Potter, His dedication page has a direct thanks to JK Rowling. WHY..... He was the man who paid over 20K for a First edition Potter Book.
This post led to an extended duet, as the author showed up to complain about the sock spreading his name all over the web. (His finding it was a neat trick, since as far as I can tell ABE posts don't show up on google, and the forum search function is...erratic at best.)

I) I have very much liked N--e H--l of the A--n by P-- J--, a slightly weird novel set on a small Greek island.
There is a nice balance between humour and exploration of deeper issues, and some fine descriptions of the natural environment.
This is not some sickly sweet fantasy of life in a sunny paradise, rather a mixture of many authentic ingredients that will make you think more deeply about yourself and relating with others.
The message of the story seems to be that there is hope for any of us to find a rewarding life, through struggle and compassion.
A very worthwhile read.
The best I can say about this one is that it included the author's name. No plot, no website, no ordering info.

J) Please help trying 2find
hi hope some1 can help me. i'm trying 2 find this book 4 me grandad but cant seem 2 find it. nebody got ne ideas where i can find it?
Its called:
B--y S--n R.N The t--e s--y
by T-- R--
i fink the ISBN is 0------9
I laughed and laughed. How sweet, he wants it for his grandad, and all he has to go on is the isbn. The child must be a math whiz, if he can keep those digits in his head. Are all the cool text-messaging kids using cockney pronunciation now?

K) The H--d M--e
I have read an advance copy of a recently published book called The H--d M--e (ISBN 0------0) and consider it to be exceptional. It is the story of young teenager who gets ensnared by a strange underground colony - really a sort of Georgian time capsule - but with some horrific guardians called the "Styx".
The prose is well written and efficient, and it has the feel of a classic children's story (a little nasty in places) without being dated in any way. The copy I have, the paperback edition, is very nicely designed with eight colour pictures in the middle. I think this book could be a great investment if it gets picked up by a mainline publisher, as it deserves to be. If you look on the publisher's website (, it appears to have been self-published and is only available in very limited numbers. Has anyone else come across this book?
Short answer: no. Points for plot information, perhaps the most so far, and description of the book. Realistically, though, the only way someone gets an "advance copy" of a self-published book is by knowing the author (it's the only way you're getting a copy of mine, bucko), so the disingenousness about "appears to have been" is a bit much.

L:1) here is one book I've internalized...completely...Pr--l D--r: 6 S--e S--s that turn dreams into reality. This book tells you exactly how to create. And it's not ideas and motivational concepts or things like, "think gratefully" or "go with the flow." This book is six steps. You do the steps and you create, consistently. Since reading this book, I've met others who meet regularly to share and rave about this Practice. There is this whole world of people who literally wake up every day and know exactly how to create the day they want. This book has got to be the best kept secret. You can absolutely manifest anything, but like the book tells you, this is the easy part. The really miraculous part is all the great things that happen along the way. For example, I lost weight, I now sleep like a log and when I wake up, I'm excited. I mean really excited, like a kid before xmas. I want everyone to find out about this book. Like I say, there's a huge community of P--l D--s who keep in touch and keep sharing all the things they create. This isn't a feel good, but it doesn't work, so later you forget about it, kind of book. It works. I will go so far as to say that you will experience something wonderful before the second chapter. I know you will slam the book shut in the first chapter and just do it! Because you'll feel different. And if you know anyone struggling in their life, this is the greatest gift you can get them. Someone on the forum, I can't remember who, said that if there was a fire, what book would you snatch. This is it. I had to work through the first step in the book for a while, but I experienced unbelievable "ah-hah" moments and since then, I don't worry about what others think any more--a huge old fear of mine--gone! I'm not wasting my life, I'm creating it. Before this book, almost everyone I knew had seen the movie "What the Bleep do we know" and was raving about it. I've was "so-so" about it. I'm not really into all that positive thinking, motivational bunk. Now, here I am telling you that you absolutely must check out this book. I am doing what I can to let everyone know about it. Like the book says, "You must decide for those beliefs that most benefit your life and find your own truth in doing. For it is in doing that we leap from rationality to the experience of enlightenment."
Questions were asked about the poster's motives. Another sock leapt up to defend:
L:2) I just finished the book, and for me the content overrides bad grammar/editing. I found it invaluable on a personal level and will continue to practice what i've learned from it.
BTW, i did a search for G-- and came up empty for other publications so it is possible that G-- is not an experienced writer, just a "p--l d--r" that has priceless knowledge they wanted to share with with others like me, who devoured it.
And this one is honest, at least. But never came back to discuss her book or any others, though she does provide rather a lot of plot, comparatively (there are also terrorists and FBI agents, but I suppose those were too petty to mention), along with the expected website.
She may have meant five-star Amazon-type reviews, but alas! she got honest ones, and only on that thread.

M) I have just completed my first novel and am hoping I can get a few people to read the book and to review it for me. It would be so helpful.
It is a P.O.D. for all the obvious reasons mainly the impossibility of ever being noticed in my lifetime.
It is called The P--t D--s, a retro tale of a female growing up in the 50s and spans 30 years. It is a novel set to the music of the times and is located in Chicago, San Francisco and Oahu. The lead character is on a roller coaster ride- anniliated by love she cannot have and an array of unusual characters. She bucks the system looking for "mr. right catch" and gets in some legal troubles. She is a bridal fashion designer and seamstress.
I am a baby boomer and I think the book would most likely be appreciated by female boomers.
If I can get any review help, I would just love it!
I can e-mail the entire book or it can be purchased on most book store selling sites.
Yours Truly,
M-- J--

I hope you are amused. The forum even had its own miniature version of the R*ck*ids flamewar, spread over three (or five, depending how you count) threads. But that's another story.

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