The Sunday Salon

August 17, 2008 at 3:08 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading | 15 Comments
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Well, the theme for this week was getting caught in someone else’s hell.

First, Melmoth the Wanderer. I gave this book a good college try. I swear it. I read it as often as possible and found parts of it interesting. I got about 275 pages in and I just couldn’t take it any more. After reading through 100 or so pages about a Spanish aristocrat’s struggle to get out of a Jesuit convent only to find him in front of the inquisition I threw in the towel. Although he hadn’t yet sold his soul to the devil, I was in hell as a reader.

I have always thought of myself as someone who enjoyed Gothic fiction. I did a little research on Melmoth and discovered a couple of things I hadn’t known before:

1. Anti-Catholicism is a common theme in Gothic fiction. That was most definitely true of Melmoth. I don’t believe I’ve read anything else that comes near the same level.

2. The form of Gothic fiction I really like is classified as Victorian Gothic. That’s where Edgar Allen Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charlotte Bronte, and Daphne Du Maurrier.

I do feel bad for not completing the book, but I did my best and will post my review within the required 6 weeks time line.

Second, the experience of being one of the venues chosen by an author to continue the family feud that I chronicled on Friday. Little did I know that when I agreed to read and review the book that the author also thought I wanted to enter in to that family’s personal hell. Thankfully for me, all’s well that ends well. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for the surviving children.

Although the author in the above mentioned situation did not attack my review or my blog directly, I was accused of not having a life this afternoon by another commenter who apparently didn’t like my post about Entertainment Weekly’s review of The Gargoyle:

Why the hell do you care if it got a bad a review? Did you expect universal praise, a shower of roses, and a swarm of congratulations?

My God, find something to do with yourself besides prowling people’s opinions.

My first thought was that she must have been prowling around for other people’s opinions when she happened upon my post in the first place – but I don’t want to be equally rude in return. Outside of that, I’m just not sure how to handle this one. The research I did on the name and IP address left by that reader points back to a Canadian author I’ve never heard of before, but I can’t be certain that is who she is. As far as my response, my wonderful husband pointed out pointed out that reviews printed by major publications carry a lot of weight. I just wanted to counter that review because I loved that book so much. Because I regularly read all of the blogs that I listed in that post, I didn’t have to “prowl” for them. I already knew where to find them when I needed them. Then again, why should I have to defend myself at all? It’s freedom of speech, baby. I don’t need universal praise, a shower of roses, or a swarm of congratulations to prompt me to write about anything.

I know that I am not alone when it comes to receiving uglies left behind by readers. How have you handled those types of comments? Do you respond at all? Do you defend your writing and opinions? Or do you do something like Danny suggested and simply say: “Thank you for your gentle and constructive criticism.”?

So, that’s another week for the record books. On the fun side of life, the Creative TBR Photo Contest is in full swing!Β  There’s still time to vote.Β  Check out my sidebar for more details.Β  I’m also looking forward to taking Thursday off to be with Emma as she attends her kindergarten orientation. I’m going to take her to a nail salon afterwards to make her feel even more like a princess. It should be a fun day. πŸ™‚ I’ve also started reading The Last Queen by C. W. Gortner. If the first 25 pages are any indication, I’m absolutely going to love this book – and reading a good book (along with some Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream) is the perfect cure for anything that ails me. πŸ˜‰

I hope you all have a great week! I’ll be “prowling around” tonight after the kids go to bed to see what else is going on in the Sunday Salon.

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15 Comments »

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  1. What an idiotic comment! I’ve had one or two similar comments before and, as a rule, I simply ignore them, don’t even justify them with a response (although I considered just deleting them, I left them alone, even deleting seemed too much like responding).

  2. That comment was unjustified, so I would just ignore it, too.

  3. Not that you need to get a life (since I know that yours is in fact very busy), but talk about the pot calling the kettle black! I mean really. Who has the time to surf the net just looking for things to get upset about? I think the best response is none at all–don’t dignify her small mindedness by stooping to the same level.

    I also wrote a <a href=”http://rjsbooklady.wordpress.com/2008/08/02/gargoyle-lovers-unite/” defense of The Gargoyle and am surprised she hasn’t paid me a visit as well. I’ll be waiting!

  4. A friend of mine recently received a nasty comment to an Amazon review she’d written (she spoke very highly of the book) where the person criticized her and resorted to name calling. It was a nasty comment which has since been removed due to its nature. It really hurt her and she almost decided to give up reviewing all together–something many of her friends have discouraged her from doing.

    Having a difference of opinion is perfectly alright. Getting into a discussion about that can be quite interesting. When it turns into personal attacks, however, it’s an entirely different matter.

    I’ve followed your own story with the review of a particular book with interest. Sounds like the family has boundary issues and it’s a shame you had to be caught in the middle of it. I am glad to hear it is resolved for now–at least on your end. Hopefully you will not hear another word from them.

    I’m with the others in regards to your latest comment–just ignore it. It isn’t worth addressing. You had every right to say what you did about The Gargoyle review in EW. It’s your blog after all, and you were just sharing your own thoughts on the subject.

    I hope you have a great week!

  5. Eep! You’re getting quite a bit thrown at you this week. I hope it doesn’t deter you from reviewing. Unless it’s really offensive (or spam), I leave up all comments. If nothing else regular readers will get a kick out of it. I once had a guy post a looooong comment about how wrong I was to not like Ann Rand. I think he called me an idiot- nicely worded. It was annoying but I left it up. It makes me laugh now.

    I thought the writer was miffed that you didn’t like his book. I didn’t realize it was a family feud. Nice way to air dirty laundry- on a stranger’s blog. Hope they got the picture.

    I’ve heard Amazon has a bad reputation for flaming. Authors, fangirls get really nasty on there.

  6. I think you are all right about just leaving it alone. I would never delete a comment like that unless it used truly foul language. Why give them that kind of satisfaction. Another funny thing was the comment before that. It indicated that not a one of us are “who’s who” or Kirkus review. That prompted me to Google Kirkus’ review of The Gargoyle. It just happened to be positive, so I posted that in my reply. Ah, the blogging life.

    One of the good things about not getting much traffic when you’re first starting out is that you don’t get comments like that when you’re building your confidence. I would never leave blogging because of something someone I don’t even know said about me. There are way too many terrific people out there. πŸ™‚ Maybe some book bloggers didn’t like this chick’s book and she’s looking to start a fight.

    BTW, I’m not alone getting involved with that family feud. Rantsandreads left a comment to my update and said that she had the same type of thing happen to her. Those people are absolutely nuts!

  7. Since you’ve decided to ignore it, I’m squashing my impulse to respond to her comment. She’s being ridiculous – what is a book blog if not a place to air your opinions?

    The Family Feud stuff is just crazy! I am so glad I turned down a chance at that one.

  8. I simply ignore obnoxious comments and delete those!

    A few I live it as such so that others know about what kind of person she/he is!

    Do check out my Sunday Salon posts πŸ˜€

    SS 1: Review of The Dark Child

    SS 2: Musings about books

  9. Re: your comment on my blog–you totally know I live in Richmond! Remember how we met because I discovered your blog, knew you lived in VA, and wanted to see if you were close to Richmond for a possible event at my store πŸ™‚ I’d love to get a snack or drink sometime.

  10. Rebecca, it feels to me like readerville, now The Book Lady for so long that it doesn’t seem possible that you could be that same person! I am such an idiot! Thank God I didn’t complete my thought by saying we could meet up at B&N. πŸ˜‰

  11. What a week you’ve had!! That comment is ridiculous.. if this isn’t a place to discuss opinions about books, than I don’t know what is..

  12. It’s your blog after all and you have every right to voice your thoughts. It seems to me that the person who leaves the rude comment is the one who is prowling around. You should ignore the comment.

  13. ‘reading a good book (along with some Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream) is the perfect cure for anything that ails me’…I couldnt agree more πŸ™‚

    and about that nasty comment…just ignore it, its ridiculous anyway.

    I’ve gotten some bizzarre and rude comments at times too. It doesnt happen often, but if the comment is really nasty, I just delete it.

  14. Poor Jennifer. Was it crappy comment week for you or what? I know it’s easier said than done, but really, just ignore them. You’re way too good to waste time worrying about their rude and rather ignorant behavior.

  15. Oh, forgot to add that I just finished reading The Gargoyle last night and I loved it too. Definitely one of those books that will stay with me for a long time.


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