1. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    Fake books?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by cazann34, Nov 29, 2012.

    Once in a while I buy a magazine dedicated to writers ( I find it helps when I'm feeling discouraged with my own writing - its a pick-me-up)

    I came across an interesting piece on, 'Fakebooks for the bestsellers list' Apparently a fake novel has made the bestseller list. The novel is an erotic novel, its has its own cover and blurb and is full of 'crowd-sourcing' deliberately incoherent content featuring lots of sex and characters with fashionable jobs. The 'joke' was recreated by a comedy site, called 'Not Safe For Work' who launched the book and encouraged customers to buy it for 99cents and to post a hilarious 5 star review - it gathered 2262 readers with an average rating of 4.5.

    My point is why do these numbskulls give obviously pathetic novels great ratings whats the joke? I don't get it. Because of their actions they are diluting what is true literature and turning into what many may think is literature but is nothing more than an incoherent jumble of nonsense or a joke.

    Why are we so obsessed with ratings? why will we press the rating button without thinking/reading what it is we are voting for. Has literature just turned into one big joke?
     
  2. Verily
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    Verily New Member

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    I don't see the problem with this.

    First of all, you were interested by the piece, so it's apparently interesting to people. Secondly, they might think it funny. Thirdly, are they really diluting true literature? The ones getting the joke obviously don't believe the book was actually any good. You disagree too. Maybe some people might believe it and see all sorts of things like symbolism in the books just because they saw the rating. This is no problem either as they are enjoying it then, and we can spot them clearly and laugh at their expense or whatever.

    Are we obsessed with ratings? A bit, perhaps. You probably are since you made this post arguing about it, and I think nobody presses the rating button without thinking because they were either voting for the joke or voting because they thought it was enjoyable.

    Finally, literature a big joke? Up to you, but I certainly don't think it has any 'sacred' value of sorts. For me it's just there to amuse or distract.
     
  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I think this is an ongoing problem with surfers on the internet rather than that people think literature is a joke.
    ( Though I do think some people will always think literature is a joke. )
    What kind of people are willing to participate in something without thinking through to the
    consequences? - unfortunately anyone on the web. Not many of us have had to face the impact
    our words have had. Nor are we held responsible. We're becoming a world of verbal hit-and-runners, trolls,
    pranksters. All in the shady name of 'fun'.

    At the worse they're making people wary, distrustful - the result of any scam artist. But it's a shame for anyone
    trying to self publish. If the joke is repearted people will eventually become wary of being decieved into buying
    a fake book.

    I think some people are obsessed with ratings. I'm not one of them. There are still so many people
    not on the internet who could give valuable input or opinion. The ones that are on the internet
    may have agendas. Giving books low ratings because they could not get through a class
    assignment or lousy books high ratings just to be controversial.
     
  4. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    If it's entertaining, it is worth publishing. And literature is not a joke. People still read them.
     
  5. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    It also depends on which "bestsellers list" one is talking about. If it's one of Amazon's cornucopia of lists, for example, it wouldn't surprise me one bit. :p

    At any rate, this book was obviously just a joke and just as obviously no one voting for it was doing so for any other reason than to take part in that joke. Most people rely on recommendations from friends or people they trust, not ratings, so I don't think there's any reason to get all het-up about this.
     
  6. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    It's an IRL troll.
     
  7. GazingAbyss
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    GazingAbyss Member

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    The anonymity the internet seems to provide (it really doesn't, but most people, including myself, don't know how to dig up someone's information) lets people act like jerks, but I don't think that's what's happening in this particular instance.

    I once heard the world before the internet described as 'read-only culture'. In order to get something you'd written seen/heard/read/whatever, you had to jump through hoops. A publisher had to print your book, a producer had to offer you a recording contract, Hollywood had to greenlight your script. Even if you independently produced your magnum opus, you still had to get a distributor to get your work out to people. Everything in pop culture was pre-approved.

    With the internet, we can reach, well, anyone with an internet connection. Culture is now read-and-write. Making up a fake novel and getting it on a bestseller list is a backlash against the sense of having no control over our culture. Personally, I think having the kind of environment where anyone is free to create what they want and broadcast it out to the world is worth the cost of the occasional (and pretty funny) prank.
     
  8. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    That happened the day they decided to publish Twilight.
     
  9. cmshepard
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    cmshepard Member

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    My thoughts exactly.

    This is also why I stay away from e-books and most things I can't read several reviews about. If they actually took the time to write about the book's content, though, I might've been fooled.

    Sounds kind of like a 50 Shades fake.
     
  10. thedarkknight
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    thedarkknight Member

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    Only literature?

    How about music? TV? Movies?

    I could make the same case for each. There is no reality any more.

    The music industry used to consist of studio musicians and professional song writers who would develop the pop music. The music was created by real professionals. In the 1970's and 1980's the trend was toward the actual bands recording themselves. There was still enough talent that the music was pretty good. But then over the past couple of decades, the no-talent pretty people were deified. I can think of no better way to say it than in the movie "Music and Lyrics" where the young modern day star has completed FUBARed the guy's song and explains "they want to see me 'dance'". I don't think anyone even knows how to write lyrics any more.

    How about reality TV? Watching the American Idol and XFactor judges fawn over very, very average singers who can't stay on pitch makes me sick. How about the "reality" TV show that showed a guy finishing a marathon and the network had to apologize when other participants pointed out the guy got a ride in the network van for the final 8 miles? Or the lady who got her own cooking show when her idea of dinner is cooked cabbage with Cheese Whiz on the top (I'm not making this up, I wish I were.)

    CGI has destroyed the movie industry. Finding a movie with an interesting story or any originality is almost impossible. All you can expect is a lot of very big explosions and you know the hero is in no danger at any time. Look how clever our special effects are! Look how much money we saved by CGI-ing a monster. Who cares if it looks like a cartoon and has no weight to it, no gravity? That will be 12 dollars.

    I have mixed feelings about the state of literature. On the one hand, knowing that you can get rich writing something like Eragon or Twilight, hey there's room for all of us to dream then. The problem is people copy success. So we will continue to have the pretty young dancers on the top of the music charts with no melody and terrible lyrics, movie remakes of remakes of remakes each worse than the original, insipid TV, and more pathetic purple prose novels (which will be made into even more pathetic movies complete with CGI vampyres and nuclear cloud explosions covering up huge plot holes).

    Sorry. Just had to rant.
     
  11. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    I'm hoping its just a phrase that will dissolve soon enough and the 'real' artists will have a chance to show what their made of - fingers crossed!
     
  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Truth is there're many more dumb people out there than you think :rolleyes: or just people who don't give two cents about art, think it's all pointless and "easy" and that life would be no different without it (and these people, IMO, fall into the "dumb" category anyway - how blind do you have to be to actually believe that!?)
     
  13. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    that is hilarious and awesome.
    and what is not a joke?
    seriously people lousing up a little. their always was and always will be genera fiction that is fun and appeals to the masses. hell most of the " good stuff" was this once. Shakespearean wrote to make money and entertain people.
     
  14. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's not that the book was a bad book - it's the fact that it was a book of incoherent content. That's why the OP is annoyed.
     
  15. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    It was a take-on 50 shades, giving the jokers a good laugh and no doubt the buyers too and earning the comedy site $2,239.38 - not bad for a joke!

    * I saw this story in a writing magazine, right enough the fake book was sold on the internet but I'm just unclear why its a IRL troll?
     
  16. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    so from what i have seen its like the writing of David Foster Wallace?
     
  17. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    I had to look this one up *blushes*
    So is it me (I started this thread) that is the internet troll? FYI - trolling, In Real Life. You think I'm a troll. A troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog. I found this very funny. Why would I be so sad to provoke strangers for entertainment. Its just not me....I have a life!
     
  18. GazingAbyss
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    GazingAbyss Member

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    They meant the people who wrote the fake book are trolls. They provoked you, for example :p

    (Not that there's a problem with that. Everyone has their pet peeves.)
     
  19. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    [​IMG]
     
  20. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Any bestseller list is a system. People have always used the system to highlight flaws in those systems. The list is automated. There's no wise litrature guru reading these books and judging it's worthiness. There were best selling books before there were best selling lists.

    ...and that's the crux of it. This has nothing to do with litrature, it has to do with the list. If Billboard came out with a weekly list of the most bought song from iTunes, and I made a song of me eating Rice Crispies, and told people they could buy it for a penny, I could get to the top of the list if I had an active fanbase.

    It is the same concept as all the popular kids voting for the 'loser' to win prom queen. It's a system and if you can control the rules of that system, you can manipulate it for laughs or to make a statement.

    Nothing new to see here, IMO and has no bearings on literature.

    ~ J. J.
     
  21. cmshepard
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    cmshepard Member

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    It doesn't have bearing in literature.

    It only makes me sad that people enjoy "trolling" something so important to people. Some spend their only spare money on books (or e-books... *sigh* that's another rant for another day), and they could have thought they found one in their price range.

    Ah, I don't know. It really just hurts my heart because I tend to respect books more than I respect most people... It just feels blasphemous.
     

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