1. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    One person (probably) reads The Girl with the Solar Eyes

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by Jack Asher, May 15, 2016.

    Here we go.

    A while back there was a dust-up on goodreads.com as a junior author, Dylan Soccaccio spent around 2,000 words harassing a woman who had given his book The Boy and the Peddler of Death a less than glowing review. This made it's way around the internets, across amazon.com and a couple other review sites, and into the writing forum community (where I picked it up on the water cooler).

    You can read the thread on his conniption fit here:
    http://www.writingforums.org/threads/author-freaking-out-over-one-star-review.139643/

    A year later we found out that, in anticipation of publishing his third novel, he had made the first one Boy...Peddler...Death free. So some of us decided to read it with a (mostly) open mind and review. That thread is here
    http://www.writingforums.org/threads/a-bunch-of-people-read-the-tale-of-onora.145313/

    We didn't like it.

    In fact the general consensus was that it was really quite bad. But we went through with it, and I at least, had a lot of fun. In my opinion you can learn far more about what someone has done wrong with a bad piece than you can with what has gone right with someone has done with a good book. And dissecting what has gone wrong is a fantastic way to train your brain to figure out what is wrong with your own work. I've learned far more about movies from MST3K than from classes on Citizen Kane.

    I'd like to say that the ending of the book intrigued me enough for me to pick up its sequel, but it didn't. The ending was a non-entity. The book simply stopped, and I felt no compulsion to pick up another chapter. The writing style is pedantic at its best, and narcissistic at its worse. Saccoccio is objectionable, both as a writer, a philosopher, and as a human being with opinions. I could have easily left it behind.

    Then I looked at his amazon.com reviews. They are either all five, or all one, stars; and it's clear from the reviews that neither party has actually read the book.

    I see a service to be done, to my growth as a writer, and to the reading community as a whole! I'll rush the line! I'll stand for you! And I'll read a terrible book and tell all of you everything about it.

    If you have $3.27 and want to follow along, or chip in, feel free.
    Stupid website breaks amazon links for no reason
    I understand completely if you don't want to spend money on this thing...but...I can loan it out to whoever I want.

    More to follow.

    Note for Americans: I'm working from 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM so you'll get your entry with your breakfast, and I won't respond to anything until at least after 3:00 in the afternoon.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
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  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I hate that Dr. Who has destroyed “Geronimo.” I'll have to go with “Remember the Alamo!”

    Forward

    Well we have this again. And if anything it's weirder than it was last time. You'll recall all that “to you...” bullshit from last time? Well this time Saccoccio starts off with quotes. The subject matter is familiar, starting “My kind does not bow to peasants dressing themselves up as kings and priests...” which I kind of remember from Boy...Peddler...Death. But it goes on for four pages. There's a good 1,500 words in there, the size of a lengthy news article, or a short anti-vax post.

    A lot of established authors will write a page or two forward, if they really want people to know where they're coming from, but Saccaccio needs a reminder that nobody knows who he is.

    It's all in quotes, and it ends with a signiture “-AΩ” so now I'm super lost. One of the characters from the first book had a name that started with A, is this him? Why doesn't he talk inside the book, where I expect to find characters talking? I guess Saccoccio was s excited to tell us what his characters were thinking he could wait to start writing about them.

    The diction is characteristically labyrinthine, but there's an undertone of anger throughout it all. Saccoccio's highminded call to spiritual exploration has been replaced with outright paranoia. He talks about how we're being poisoned with “false food,” “false education,” and “false medicine,” so aside from the usual craziness we can infer he's anti-vax.

    I'd like to say I'm surprised, but I would have taken out particularly long odds if anyone had bet me.

    There are allusions to shadowy forces oppressing everyone, and the implication that by not resisting them we are immoral. I say implication, what he actually says is:
    Apparently his thesaurus had unexpectedly failed him when he searched for "bad person" so he just stuck with it. Meanie-head has more gravitas.

    So that's it. We're all bad people. Sorry everyone.

    To be honest, I’m not sure who, or what, Saccoccio is riling against. The G'mmunt seems to be ineffectual at preventing him from publishing his views or posting on youtube. He seems to have an okay job, or at least the financials to buy reviews and twitter followers (65,000? Dude, who do you think you’re kidding?). His health seems okay. By his own account he has a pretty good relationship with his family. His biggest complaint seems to be that he has to pay taxes, and can’t do every single drug. Yet he complains about IT [sic] a shadowy entity that has enslaved mankind through...something...keeping us blind I guess? IT does this for some reason not described. I guess because IT is formless and evil.

    But the good news is that you can defeat this evil by not doing whatever it wants you to do. Apparently it’s just that simple. All you have to do is stop living your life the way your comfortable, and live it in some unspecified way, and all the evil forces that are doing something that’s never explained, won’t be able to do it to you, who didn’t even know it was happening; anymore.

    And he ends with what I think is supposed to be a profound comment that’s incredibly contradictory:
    I’m still trying to figure out what that means.

    Writing:

    I think at some point we’ve talked about Saccoccio’s weird capitalizations? I can’t remember. It hasn’t gone away. He refers several times to “Natural Law” in a way that makes me think I’m supposed to know what that is. Either Saccoccio believes that everyone is reading the same wiccan philosophy books (more on that in a second) or he thinks that the combination of Natural and Law yield some self evident term. They don’t and I’m perplexed.

    He brings up IT [sic] several times. I’m not sure what IT stands for, but I suspect it’s not Internet Technology. It’s more likely that Saccoccio is trying to emphasize without understanding basic nomenclature, i.e. that capitalizing whole words means something very different in a book than it does in a facebook post.

    He also brings up some capitalized wiccan concepts, like everyone should know what they are. He says:
    You’d be forgiven for thinking that these terms were thrown together by a concussed schizophrenic, but apparently they’re concepts in wicca. Or more accurately, in a religion with no central text, authority, or administration, they’re concepts that someone who calls themselves wiccan thought up, and some other wiccans agreed with.

    So there you have it guys. There are autocrats in every religion. It took us a bit to realize that Soccaccio is a bible-thumping wiccan but I don’t think anyone here is particularly shocked.

    And of course we need to talk about this passage’s convoluted jargon. Which is now going to have it’s own heading.

    Word Salad:
    This one pops up pretty early on.
    I think a “dishonorably limited vibrational excursion” is what my grandma accused my sister of, when she found her sitting on top of an unbalanced washing machine. Of course there’s a lot of different directions to unpack the sentence, but I’m going to go with: excursions don’t work that way. Unless Saccoccio is trying to say that the despots were doing something else, and then decided that they would do some limited vibrating for world dominance for a bit. Just to kill some time, you know?

    Thoughts:
    As usual, after reading a bit of Saccoccio I’m left with nothing constructive. Only this time instead of being lost in space and time I’m adrift in publishing conventions. A forward is meant to convey the author’s feeling behind a work, not a character’s. Is that what happened here? Is Saccoccio trying to forshadow that this AΩ is going to be his sock puppet to ram his philosophy down our throats? Did Saccoccio get lost on his was to an excerpt, and accidentally put a scene from his book into the forward?

    By this point I’m used to his heavy handed diatribes being interjected into the narrative, but finding them outside the narrative is perplexing in a way that’s perfectly familiar. As if Saccoccio was trying to prove his ineptitude, he got writing a forward wrong on the second try.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  3. Quixote's Biographer
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    I'm so glad you're doing this :D Can't wait for the next chapter!
     
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  4. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    It makes me sad thinking that he got you to pay for this.
     
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  5. Kinzvlle
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    Kinzvlle Active Member

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    We will do not.....

    We will do not.....

    Was this really in the book? shouldn`t it be we will not support? I know I mess up on my grammar as well but how do you miss this. It doesn`t even sound right.
     
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  6. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    No! That's a typo from me. Sorry. I don't have a way to copy and paste his prose so I'm just transcribing it. That was my fault and I'll fix it.

    I think I started to write "we will not" checked the text, found it was "we do not" and just kept writing. Whatever else you think about Saccoccio, he had an editor look his work over.
     
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  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I took a look at the first few pages on Amazon. I burst out laughing when I read this: His gaze journeyed across a marble counter toward his wife, in all her precious beauty, as she cut fresh vegetables.

    All I could think of was that Dana Carvey bit: "She's choppin' broccoli... she's choppin' broccoli..." :superlaugh:

    I'll be all right soon. Carry on.
     
  8. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Why does your prologue have a title Saccoccio? It's clearly a part of the narrative, why isn't it a chapter?

    Prologue: The Only Eternal Thing


    Events:
    Well it's “The Man” and “The Woman” again. For new readers, there is “The Man” and “The Woman” and “The Boy.” The Man and The Woman are married, and still get freaky, Saccoccio wants us to know; and The Boy is The Man' bastard child.

    That seems like a lot to go on, but it's really not. We don't know their names. We don't know where they are. We don't know their roles, or stations, either in the story or out of it. It's possible The Man was a king of something, maybe? But last book he went off on how terrible authority is, because apparently he's the only fucking anarchist king (if he was a king) in existence.

    I don't think any time has passed since the last book, which drives me nuts a little bit. It means, both that the last book didn't actually have an ending, and what's more Saccoccio knows it didn't have an ending. He either didn't care, or didn't think that we would care. Both possibilities are insulting.

    The Boy is asleep, I guess. The Woman mentions he is sleeping while she cuts up vegetables for his dinner. Yes, they make it clear that it's dinner, and that The Boy is sleeping, and that it's late at night. I don't know what their schedule is like, but they must gain weight like crazy if that's how they eat.

    The Man tries to mollify his wife by telling her about this dream he had, because Saccoccio learned about relationship conflict from a 17 magazine. I'd like to tell any man who is beginning his first relationship, that this is a very bad idea. At the very least, trying to distract someone who is mad at you, by mentioning that your unconscious thinks they're just swell is avoiding the issue in a way that's nearly pathological.

    Then there's some magic bullshit that happens, and Saccoccio hopes that we've remembered what his convoluted magic terms mean since the last book. I'm honestly not motivated (by him) to care, so it just sounds like idiocy to me. The Woman is chopping veggies for something, so The Man continues to try to mollify her by provoking her. Literally. Saccocio's words, not mine.
    Again, guys, this is terrible advice.

    The Woman's totally rational response to the floating vegetables is to magic a knife to her husbands throat. He responds by floating all of the berries out of a nearby pie. Then it gets weird.

    What Saccoccio thinks is sexual tension builds as:

    Not a good sign.
    The Man then magics her shirt open, and mashes the berries all over her chest. I fear that Saccoccio's porn folder is a very weird place.

    And then they have some barely described sexy time, while The Woman manages to ask about The Man's dream, because that's fucking important right now.

    And then there's an interlude. I know, an interlude in a prologue? Why isn't that part of the main story? Well my answer is that Saccoccio has seen prologues in novels before and decided he wanted one of his own, without understanding what it was for. Saccoccio is the guy who buys a snuggy.

    In the interlude, which is the dream The Man keeps having, he wanders through a forest playing some game all his childhood friends played. Saccoccio brings up the rules of the game, of course, without actually explaining how the game works. It's his skill set. All of The Man's friends are there, even the ones that weren't there, and The Woman is there, and that's special because he loves her so fucking much.

    While everyone goes off to play the stupid game, all of the other children disappear and it gets dark. The Man and The Woman react to this chain of events be immediately stopping to build a fire. This is about 15 to 20 minutes that could be spent looking for other people, but sure, I guess a fire is a great idea. The Woman makes the fire with magic, and The Man is so fucking proud of her, they have to kiss right that fucking second.

    Then the darkness gets really bad for some reason, and The Man and The Woman conquer it with love. Like they snog for a bit and all the cold, bad, darkness goes away again.

    I'd like to point out that, in this chain of events, The Man and The Woman were infatuated with love, got challenged, and won out with their infatuated love. They haven't changed in this dream. They haven't learned anything. They've gone in a flat circle, and the audience is left in exactly the same place.

    Interlude over (yes this prologue has three parts) and The Man and The Woman are enjoying the afterglow. As usual we don't know where they are, so I assume it's the kitchen, where the fucked all over those carrots The Woman was making. That's gross.

    The Man tells her that she should help him help The Boy, because I guess sexing her will help distract her from her feelings, and the prologue ends.


    Writing:
    It's weirder than usual in places. Of course there's Saccoccio's reliance on a thesaurus to make the sentences a convoluted contradiction of metaphors.

    This gets especially weird with the sexy times. For instance, the part where he mashes berries all over The Woman's bare breasts get's described thus
    I actually had to look that one up, and with characteristic misunderstanding, Saccoccio has found the scientific word for nipples. He mashed the berries all over her nipples. Not her breasts, as you might has found sort of physically possible, just the nipples.

    His confrontation inside the dream also gets metaphorical in a way that I don't understand. He's trying to fight the darkness with fire and
    I'm not sure how true a fire is supposed to be, or how a darkness would fail to “accept” it. I feel like this is an allegory for Saccoccio's livejounal commentators, but it's impossible to know for sure.

    Then there's this bit that I have to tag @BayView and @Tenderiser over. I assume that terrible romance metaphor really should have it's own thread, but until it does, this is yours to cherish.
    (italics in original for no reason)

    Saccoccio learned to metaphor by using those little refrigerator poetry magnets.


    Word Salad:
    This one is fun. It's about eyes again, because Saccoccio thinks that any description he can write down about eyes will probably make sense to someone, somewhere.
    This one I didn't have to look up. Helical means like a helix. Saccoccio thinks he's describing a woman with spiral eyes, which is an interesting enough detail, I don't know why it's been over looked until now. But as usual what he's actually saying makes no sense. A helix isn't a spiral. A helix is a three dimensional shape. Springs are in the shape of a helix. Eyes are round, they're well known for it. Helix shaped eyes make whatever the opposite of sense is. Irrationality I guess. Helix eyes make irrationality.


    Thoughts:
    Once again a period of writing has happened and I don't know how the narrative has advanced. In a way this book is the perfect metaphor for being high. A bunch of stuff happens, you're pretty sure. But when you look back on it, you aren't sure what it was, or why it seemed important at the time. I guess this section was to tell us that The Man and The Woman love each other, which has been nailed into use ad nauseum. Or maybe it's to show that The Woman is going to be okay with The Boy now, but if that boring plot point is resolved without any effort on the part of the woman to change on her own I'll...

    I don't know what I'll do. It really isn't possible to be more disappointed with the English language for allowing this book to be written. So I guess I'll tell you guys about it, and point out how weak that is.


    More tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
  9. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    It's... it's beautiful. *wipes away a tear*

    If I had a cock, it'd be weeping.
     
  10. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I'm glad you don't, so you don't know how terrifying that sounds.
     
  11. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe she looked like this?

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    It'd be weeping pearly drops of salty discharge.

    I metaophor good.
     
  13. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I forgot to mention this. Those berries that get mashed all over her nipples? They go back in the pie. I'm really hoping that the pie get served to The Boy, because something inside me is broken.
     
  14. Kinzvlle
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    Kinzvlle Active Member

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    .............Is this anarchist fantasy or food porn?
     
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  15. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    The Boy has a name! The Boy has a name! I think. He might. It might just be a word for mother fucker.


    Chapter 1: A Hard Day



    Events:
    So there's this city on the side of a cliff, where the water has worn away at the rock beneath it. This seams like a very bad thing for the building of the city, but whatever. The city is very decadent and rich, despite having no ports (at least we can assume from the way it sits on a cliff) and is surrounded by “infertile ground.” You might understand this as not the way regional economics works, but why start nit-picking now.

    Because I'm been nit-picking this whole time. It's a stupid idea. World building fail.

    There's a huge “ravine” that's actually a canyon, that is called the Vale, because why not. Saccoccio might as well have just called it “The Plateau” or “The Tundra” since he doesn't understand that a vale is a real thing, and that it's not a canyon. A canyon is a canyon.

    Anyway there's a bridge across the canyons that the Oussaneans control. I think the city that we just talked about is run by the Oussaneans but it's not really clear for reasons we'll get into later.

    Actually I guess we'll talk about it now. There's a guard post for the Caliphians on the bridge, and some of the Oussaneans ride out to ask them about the Queens son who has taken off.

    I don't hesitate to tell you, that the relationship between these events and everything else that has happened is entirely unclear.

    Someone mentions “the Peddler” at this point, which I think is an allusion to “The Peddler of Death” a term I only encountered through the title of the last book. I'm serious. Whoever that is, they didn't get referred to as it in the entire book that had their title on it. I think it might be The Boy's father, but at this point in the reading I didn't know where we were in time, so that didn't make any sense to me.

    So despite the fact that the Oussaneans control the fucking bridge, there's another country with a barracks at one end. We're told at the start that the Oussaneans can retract the bridge at any time, so this doesn't make any sense from a strategic point of view. If the blue people have one side of a bridge, and the red people have the other, there really isn't anything stopping the red people from sending an army over the bridge. By the time the blue people retracted the bridge there would be an army at their end. Then the red people would have all of the bridge.

    There's some conflict for no reason that I can understand. The Ousaneans are all “Where's the kid?” and the Caliphians are all “Haven't seen him.” And then one of the Caliphians kills the other guy, because she tried to hit him, because he said “cunt”. It's like Saccoccio understands rational thinking from watching toddlers play.

    And then all the Ousaneans kill all the Caliphians, and it's soooooooooooo boring. There's about 10 pages of fighting, all following the leader of the Ousaneans, as she's almost killed six times. She's really bad at being a soldier I guess.

    In the middle of the fight, there's a pause while the leader, Ra'idah talks to some soldier, and gives him the choice between falling off the bridge or getting his throat cut, by her. He takes the time to pull of all his armor, while the tension runs into a wall, and then crawls over the edge. Before he goes he reveals that the Calphians actually let the prince by at some point. The Ra'idah says “Dalharuk?” I assumed that was some kind of Ousanean swearword or something, and later found it wasn't and then didn't care really hard.

    There's still fighting going on, and some big guy is giving the Ousaneans trouble. Over the course of the fight, there have been at least three big guys, and either they keep dying, or people close to them keep dying and it's not them, and it's always the same one big guy. Clear as a brick. Ra'idah kills the big guy with a knife to the face, which apparently is so easy should could have done it at any fucking time. I guess she just wanted to wait for this guy to kill a whole bunch of her friends first.

    There's one Caliphian left and Ra'idah talks to him for a bit. He asks if she'll bury all the dudes she killed and she says, no, they're gonna dump all the bodies off the bridge so they can poison the drinking water for anyone who lives down stream. Actually what she says is:
    She doesn't mention that their wet bodies bloat in the sun until they explode and the efflua will kill any poor sucker who drinks it. I don't know why Saccoccio thinks bones turn to dust, and get scattered by the wind when they've sunk to the bottom of a river, but I don't know why he thinks anything.

    And the guy is like, “Yeah that sounds pretty good, let me help you dump all my friends over the edge of this gorge.”

    And they start doing that, and then it turns out the guy who ditched his armor and went over the side was the happy converts brother. He begs Ra'idah for the chance to wander off and find his brother, and out of feelings that don't make sense to human people she's like “Sure, knock yourself out.”

    There's a line break, which actually seems appropriate this time, because some time has passed. Ra'idah is standing looking at things and says:
    I'm still pretty sure it's a swear word, but maybe it's a title? Or someone's name?

    Someone shows up with a falcon, which I guess, is a homing falcon. Add falconry to the list of things Saccoccio know nothing about. And they put a message on the falcon and it takes off. As it flies it see two people wandering away from the river below. It does this despite the sun setting, which you'll remember is when it is dark. And during the dark it's very hard for anyone to see. You might imagine that during the night is when falcons do not fly, because if they did they would be called owls. You would imagine correctly because you are not Dylan Saccoccio.

    I refuse to become complacent to the fact that nothing in this book makes the slightest bit of sense.

    Appropriate line break.

    It's the (inexplicably) rich city, where a rich Queen is being very beautiful asleep. There's some stuff about how, despite being fabulously wealthy, beautiful, and powerful, she's actually pretty lonely. This is what Saccoccio tells himself before he goes to sleep every night.

    The falcon shows up have flown all night (no it didn't). She reads the message and is disturbed. There's some really transparent anarchy/2nd amendment crap, and then she cries.

    And then we're with The Boy, and he's asleep and twitchy. Some little girl shows up, never seen before, and stokes his forehead in a way that is definitely creepy. She whispers to him too, because little girls touching you while you sleep only works if they whisper in your ear while they do it. Instead of telling him to kill his family she says:
    They Boy's name might be Dalharuk! But after that scene with the little girl I'm holding out hope that it means mother fucker.

    But the chapter is still going on!

    The Boy is still dreaming, which was very confusing, because I assumed that all of the story was supposed to be happening inside the dream. I guess all that shit with the bridge and the city and the falcon is happening in the present as well. It would be nice if I was given some kind of clue about all of this.

    There's a tree, which I think is the big tree from the first book, and some guy shows up and demands a macguffin from the tree. The tree refuses, so the man kills a baby at it. I think in context it might make a little more sense. There's some shit with a magic spell, and some other guys show up, or maybe they aren't real and Saccoccio goes out of his way to point out which way the spell is facing, and then the guy kills the baby and tells the tree it had better pay up, because Mr. Saccoccio don't give second chances, ye'see?

    And then the chapter is over.

    Writing:

    Saccoccio has introduced a new annoying idiosyncrasy. Random italics. They first showed up the the prologue, and I assumed they had something to do with the sexy times (such as there were). But now they're all the fuck over the place, and I don't know why. Sometimes it's just a line, sometimes it's a whole paragraph. No idea why it's happening.

    I have an hour to kill, so we can talk about the horrible fight scene. It was a little better than the part with the bear, where 5 second took 4 pages. Instead it's more like 15 minutes takes 20 pages. From a math perspective the ratio is much better.

    From a writing perspective it's much not.

    Like normal I don't understand anyone's motivations, down to the smallest detail. The Oussaneans show up to ask about a missing boy, and then kill everyone. Because one of the soldiers killed their scout. Because the scout was going to slap him. Because he said the word “cunt”. That amusement park ride where you sit in the chair and it shoots you into the air? It escalates situations more slowly.

    The last remaining soldier hears about how they dump their bodies in the river and thinks “oh yeah, that sounds nice.” And then the leader is just fine letting him wander off to find his surely dead brother.

    There's a bunch of Saccoccio describing the fight using meaningless terms to describe the arrangement of the human body. Lots of “over her shoulder” and “arm out straight”. If I had to guess I'd say he doesn't actually have a mental image of what's happened and is just making up terms.

    He's still finding a way to fuck up his terms, and depending on your disposition you might find this funnier than the mamilla from the prologue.

    Instead of “in her periphery” he says “in her peripherals”. Twice.

    These terms are not synonymous, I'm tired of pointing out. Your periphery is the edge of your vision, though the whole term is “the periphery of his/her/its vision.” You can have something in your peripheral vision, but in the peripheral becomes an adjective, describing the location of the vision. When you use peripheral as a noun, it only has one connotation (according to all the online dictionaries) and that is a non-essential component of a computer. A keyboard is a peripheral. I don't think Ra'idah saw anything in her keyboard.

    More anarchy leaks into the text, or course, but it gets a wonderfully unrealistic militia aspect this time:
    Yeah. I'll bet the well trained and equipped army, just trembles in fear at the idea of a bunch of loosely collected militia members. That freedom is terrifying, when facing off against say, trained cavalry.

    Word Salad:
    This chapter actually had very little to choose from, but there were a couple of gems
    I'll just leave that for you.

    Thoughts:
    Despite everything, this was probably the least agonizing chapter so far. Nothing made sense, I had no idea where I was in space or in time. I didn't understand the perspective, the characters, or their motivation. And several characters were introduced at random from plot points they should have been in all the time.

    But there was a sentence or two that didn't make me cringe with embarrassment for Saccoccio, and for him that's a nomination for a Pulitzer.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  16. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Unless it was mammillae, just one nipple actually. Has he shown any preference towards left or right, because I need that level of detail for... personal reasons.
     
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  17. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    It was the left breast Adrian Mole was always fantasising about, wasn't it?
     
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  18. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    That is extra hilarious! Yes it's definitely mammilla.
     
  19. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Mammilla sounds like a flavor of ice cream. "You want chocolate or mammilla?" "Mammilla, please. Two scoops." ;)
     
  20. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    I shouldn't have tried reading that before coffee. My brain hurts.
     
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  21. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Oh, I didn't get into this later. The city, and the people inside it, and the queen, have never been named in the text before. I'm almost positive that the queen is Mother Fucker's mother. I'm not sure because he went an entire book without being named. Why would his relationship to any other character or setting be put into context?

    On the same vein, who the people of the city are is never mentioned, but the fact that the Oussaneans search party reports to the city is probably some indication. I'm not sure what price Saccoccio is paying by the word for this book, but I'm almost positive he could have budgeted in the phrase "The Oussanean capital." Otherwise I can't think of a reason to leave it out.

    Also, I'm sorry about the typos. These posts average about 2,000 words and without an outline and a proofread they kind of get away from me. But the last one took me about two hours to write, and while I can skim and find some errors, I'm not going to take the extra 20 minutes to read it backwards and make a serious effort to fix things.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  22. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I'm gonna split this chapter in two, because I'm on page 48 of 60. And those bars are back.


    Chapter 2 (A): Nothing but Evil Here

    I think we're back in The Boy's (Mother Fucker) dream again. It's characters from the past anyway. Again, no time has passed, so I don't know what was going on with the baby killing guy, or how he related to any of the other events.

    Aithein is wandering toward the tree that rules over the forest. Again this might be before or after the baby killer threatened the tree over the macguffin, so I don't know what's going on there. There's another elf on the road in front of the tree, and he won't let Aithein go see it.

    There's some really stupid dialogue, and then Aithein points out that some girl likes him and not the other elf (Chako) so Chako cries. I'm not even kidding:
    (You'll notice the incorrect use of the word “rhetoric.” My ability to sigh is broken at this point, and may never recover.)

    Why his nightmares keep some bint from thinking of another guy is not explained. Saccaccio assumes that because Aithein is friends with a girl, she must be constantly thinking of him, because he took the wrong lesson away from all Disney movies.

    So Chako begs Aithein to put in a good word for him and Aithein acts like a prick about it, so Chako won't let him near the tree. Saccoccio is so bad at negotiation, he tries to buy a car by telling the salesman he slept with his wife, and then tells him that his check will bounce.

    Chako tells Aithein that he needs a sword and shield to see the tree, which sounds unreasonable but whatever.

    Oh no!

    That evil Chako guy has confiscated all the swords! Curse his dastardly policy of disarmament, as it applies to arbitrarily set rules of social conduct.

    Aithein fucks off to find a sword, like you know he will.

    One of the reviews on Amazon (which I'm convinced was bought) talks about how great the Bannitlarn brothers are. While I would expect the feedback of any review so effusive to disappoint me, I can't really be let down any further by this book. I can however feel bad for anyone else who bought the book based on that feedback. They will be very disappointed.

    Remember that little kid that “tricked” the fairy out of her name by cleverly...asking what her name was? And the way she flew off the fucking handle when she realized that...she'd told him what her name was? Well he's one of the Bannitlarn brother, so you can imagine all the hi-jinx they'll get into!

    Aithein and his fairy go over to their house and he tries some of their mead. It has flowers in it from his nightmares. Apparently in the nightmare he knows not just how they smell, but how they taste, because lucid dreaming is just like dropping ecstasy. He doesn't like the mead, so they all throw it out and drink something else and thing there's a horizontal bar while they eat, because I guess I don't get to know what that's like. It was probably stupid anyway. I didn't want to hear about their dumb food, or all the great times they had, and I'm sure no other reader wanted to either. Remember how boring the dinner scene in the Hobbit was? Saccoccio spared us from that.

    I think at this point it's probably impossible for you to discern that that was sarcasm.

    That was sarcasm.

    The bar happens and they're all sitting around and Aithein says he needs a sword and shield and everyone is like, “you can buy one at the shop, they have all kinds of forest items.” I really want to make a joke about how he could sell all his mana potions to get the gold, but fuck me if Saccoccio doesn't actually use that line three pages back.
    It's almost too easy to pick that one apart.

    But all the swords have been confiscated and that's a big problem. I guess Aithein couldn't go to someone outside the forest and get a gun-I mean sword. No the middle brother Caelwyn has to take him in secret, in the dead of night, to find a sword he hid.

    It's the dead of night, and they're going to find a sword that guy hid. He hid it inside a “man-sized rabbit hole” which I guess would just be a hole? Maybe a manhole? While they wander on there's some anarchy bullshit I'll get to later, and then Caelwyn hands him the sword. There's some magic bullshit, where Caelwyn says that knowing a things “true” name allows you to control it, and you should always use a things true name. When someone is oppressing you, you should look to the things whose names you are not allowed to speak.

    You know, like the C.I.A. or Voldemort.

    And so Aithein calls the sword to him, and then is told it's name, which I think is inconsistancy number 3,568,q09,430.

    And I have to run the night audit at some point so I'll finish the rest of the chapter tomorrow.

    Writing:
    On his goodreads page (before he was banhammered) Saccoccio made a list of similar things to his story. Among them he listed World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, and Zelda.

    I hope you can imagine reading a Zelda novel, in which the stupid idiosyncrasies of the game are not just kept, but reveled in.

    In a video game the place where you buy things is called “Shop.” There's a big sign outside that says “Shop” because “MacGuckins” would confuse the player. They would think that it's a house owned by MacGuckin, when it's actually a very popular hardware store in Boulder.

    Similarly, when you shot in a video game, there's usually a menu option called “items” to distinguish it from “Potions” or “Armor”. Residents of the real world will notice that when you go to the store you buy “products”, or frequently “things”.

    So in his uniquely stupid way, Saccoccio has cemented, to us, that he is not writing about a real world with real people who exist for real reasons. He's writing like a video game that you so love, only you can't play it, you have no control, and it's terrible.

    And then, it got impossibly worse. Aithein describes some stupid fucking animal thing to his fairy by saying:
    The idiocy of that concept is a tangible thing. That's not how anything, in this world or on any other would work. That's a game mechanic, and a stupid one at that.

    Let's switch over to the stupid fucking anarchy in the second half of the first half of the chapter. Let's especially talk about the militia idiocy. While they're talking about the confiscations of weapons this conversation happens:
    Oh man! How can I argue with that iron clad logic! Slaves also don't own deadly poison, pipe bombs, or a license to kill. I guess the fact that I'm a slave because I can't own certain things is irrefutable!

    And then Saccoccio shoots his character in the face.

    We're gonna get theoretical here for a moment. Reader's of Christopher Vogler (or of course Joseph Campbell) will be acquainted with a character archetype called the Mentor. The Mentor starts to give the hero the knowledge he needs in order to fulfill his task. He can't give the hero all of the information, and most importantly he cannot do the task himself.

    Caelwyn is clearly getting set up to become Aithein's mentor, and then Saccoccio just...

    I have to explain some more. In Boy...Peddler...Death Saccoccio talks about the different races, and specifies that the elves (he doesn't call them elves, they're fucking elves, whatever) can't live outside of the protection of their fucking tree.

    Caelwyn has lived outside the protection of the fucking tree. Revelation. This changes everything for their entire civilization! Only...
    In Saccoccio's version of the Matrix, Neo enters the real world, returns to the Matrix and thinks, “You know what? Fuck all these people.” Then he goes back to work at his desk job.

    Saccoccio's mentor isn't forgoing the task because he can't. He's not doing it because he won't. And there's no good reason. Athein asks him later
    If nothing else I've said has convinced you that Saccoccio has no fucking clue what he is doing, this should really prove it to you.


    Word Salad:
    This comes up when Aithein mentions his nightmare, which are apparently so terrible that every fucking villager know about them.
    What is the music of life? Why is it going to stop? Why would anyone thing that some yutz having the night sweats is a huge portend of “a much greater event.”


    Thoughts:
    Contempt. Both for the base writing style, the terrible story-telling elements, and from the clear contempt that Saccoccio has for his reader. He's uninterested in expanding his writing style beyond that of a fucking Nintendo game, because he thinks that's what his readers are looking for. He thinks I'll see that people in his story buy “items” from “shop” and I'll leap all over myself for joy that someone understands the games I play.

    I didn't.

    I like my games, but I recognize them for what they are. A stand in for real life. An approximation. They're limited both by the constraints of their platform and by the need to keep player entertained. They are a cartoon of real life. I recognize that my video game character needs an inventory screen and I do not, and the idea that I would like a world in which that was a feature is insulting.

    Then of course there's the anarchy angle. At some point in the future I'll address the idea of a thesis, which Saccoccio does not have. In the meantime I'll say that this is the worst Allegory of the Cave I've ever read. It's clear that, as a unit concept, Saccoccio doesn't understand what he's writing, or why he's writing it.

    Saccoccio has said in interviews that he has purposely eschewed any books on story telling theory, or writing in general, and that he doesn't read in his genre. I've never really felt angry that he thought this book was publishable until now.
     
  23. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    I'm starting to wonder if we've been making fun of someone who's actually mentally challenged.
     
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  24. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Guys...something just happened.
    I got off from work and I was talking to my wife about the stupid game shit...
    And I was telling her about fucking "shop" and I told her it gets worse...
    And I started to tell her about the part where Aithein could fight the stupid mobs and trade with them...
    And as I was telling her this I had to point out that Aithein was explaining all this to his fucking fairy...

    Guys.
    I didn't tell you this, but all the elves have a fucking fairy.
    And they're all fucking elves.
    And there's a talking fucking tree.
    I'm such an idiot @Link the Writer, @Steerpike, other people. Saccoccio wrote Legend of Zelda.
    He wrote Legend of Fucking Zelda!

    You probably will roll your eyes at this, but I actually have tears in my eyes. I have no idea if this is sad or funny. For fuck's sake, one of the elves gave him a jar and told him if he trapped a fairy inside he'd come back to life if it broke. Aithein shoots a nut with a slingshot and it explodes.

    This is Militant Anarchist Wiccan Bullshit Legend of Fucking Zelda, and I didn't even know it until now.
     
  25. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    So he basically plagiarized Legend of Zelda? Someone ought to inform Nintendo of this...
     

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