Wow…my first ass kicking as a book blogger, notice I didn’t say “literary.”

Oh SNAP!!!  It was bound to happen sooner or later.  Someone has come to Bookie and slammed my review of The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson.  My first critic, I feel I have arrived.   

Colton

I am a pretty large fan of Hunter S. Thompson’s work so I was delighted to find an in depth review of his early novel, The Rum Diary, but at the same time I found it hard not to critique. Now, busting your balls over a petty crap would be useless so I’ll try to keep toned down to a friendly review.

I’ve delved further into his work and contrary to popular belief, Hunter S. Thompson, I think, is nowhere near an “…eccentric alcoholic drug addicted journalist… .” That impression is largely held by teenagers who have happened upon the book—or for god’s sake that black hole of a movie—in search of some drug addled adventure. Using words like “alcoholic” and “drug addict” to describe HST shows your unfamiliarity and are entirely incorrect. I can’t foul you for being ignorant on any given topic, as I know crap about Nuclear Physics, but all ther same I would not write about it and claim my words to be true!

You’re unsourced definition of Gonzo Journalism is in extremely bad taste and the last paragraph describing the book as “dark and deep” sounds vaguely familiar—almost too familiar.

The whole section on tattoos seems slightly disjointed for a literary review.

I do like the quotes you pulled from the book; as if I were to do the same those four would definitely make the bunch. Also, you seemed to have described the storyline decent enough and has changed my mind as to whether you actually read the thing or just paraphrased Wikipedia.

Try checking out his semi-autobiographical compilation of letters written from 1955–1967, The Proud Highway. It’s an informative, yet entertaining, look into his early years and it manages to paint a pretty clear picture of where he is coming from. It is guaranteed to change your thoughts about HST if you find that dismissing him as a ”Drug addict” is accurate or acceptable. 

Of course being the smartass that I am, I couldn’t just stand back and let myself get beat down.  A girl’s got a right to fight back.  But before you read my replies, please know that I do welcome comments and even criticism here at Bookie.  This blog is meant to encourage healthy discussions of books and reading.  However, some of the stuff he said really pissed me off.

Now, busting your balls over a petty crap would be useless so I’ll try to keep toned down to a friendly review.

^^^Why thank you, how kind.

I can’t foul you for being ignorant on any given topic, as I know crap about Nuclear Physics, but all ther same I would not write about it and claim my words to be true!

^^I think I clearly stated that I wasn’t a HST expert.  I have read several things, however, that would contradict you in terms of his alchohol and drug use.  Are you suggesting he never abused alchohol or drugs?  Are you saying he’s not an eccentric?

You’re unsourced definition of Gonzo Journalism is in extremely bad taste and the last paragraph describing the book as “dark and deep” sounds vaguely familiar—almost too familiar.

^^yes, I got the definition of Gonzo Journalism from Wiki, and maybe I should have sourced it but lookit this is an  book blog not the New York Times.  I don’t  know what you mean concerning “dark and deep.”  If you are suggesting I  stole that line I can tell you I did not.  If someone else wrote the same thing regarding the novel then so be it.  It was “dark and deep” and I probably am not the only person on the planet to have thought so and written it down.

The whole section on tattoos seems slightly disjointed for a literary review.

^^^Please show me where I clamied that anything I wrote was to be considered a literary review.  This is my book blog.  It’s my hobby, I can put tattoo’s wherever the hell I want.

Also, you seemed to have described the storyline decent enough and has changed my mind as to whether you actually read the thing or just paraphrased Wikipedia.

^^^OK, this is where I am going to tell you to fuck off.  Don’t come to my Goddamned book blog and then suggest that I might be writing about a book I didn’t even read.  How dare you.

Try checking out his semi-autobiographical compilation of letters written from 1955–1967, The Proud Highway. It’s an informative, yet entertaining, look into his early years and it manages to paint a pretty clear picture of where he is coming from. It is guaranteed to change your thoughts about HST if you find that dismissing him as a ”Drug addict” is accurate or acceptable.

^^I don’t think I dismissed him at all.  I thought my review was actually very much in his favor.  Thanks for the tip on the book, I will check it out as I would like to learn more about him.
All comments are welcome here at Bookie.

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16 Responses to “Wow…my first ass kicking as a book blogger, notice I didn’t say “literary.””

  1. You go girl! 🙂

  2. I got sort of slammed for being less than enamored of the Coetzee novels Elizabeth Costello and Slow Man. Oh, well, different strokes. This person is taking it all a little too seriously.

  3. There are some WEIRD people writing comments on the internet — usually they stay away from book blogs, but not always, I can see …

  4. I’m surprised you didn’t comment on my favourite part of that long complaint:

    “You’re unsourced definition…”

    Unless he’s calling you an unsourced defintion, he really should learn the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. Don’t you think?

    I also love how he was trying to argue that HST didn’t use drugs. lmao Next he’s going to say that the shotgun just slipped!

  5. Hey, thanks for your support guys! and thanks Eva for correcting his grammar.

  6. Now see Eva, my favorite line came early on:

    “I am a pretty large fan of Hunter S. Thompson’s work …”

    What does his girth have to do with his critique?

  7. ...in defense of colton Says:

    I must say that i can sympathise with colton’s comment

    it isnt that you were overtly offensive at any particular point

    on the contrary you speak of the book with a soft enthusiasm similar to the tone of someone pointiong out the shapes of cumulo nimbus clouds

    but that, to me, is really the handle

    you write with the insencere tone of an honor student visitng the louvre

    “ahh yes Rodan he was the great master of blah blah blah… i read look, at how much i read”

    as a “huge” fan of Thompson myself, i can say that the casual nature with which you handle the work comes of as fake-burgeoise, and to me, somewhat abrasive, or at least contradictory

    everythig about Thompsons work is confrontational and self-afacing and sincere; it is violent to the outsider in the same vein as Dali

    but your veiw of it seems all too complacant

    and while i dont necessarily feel that internet arguments are a justified expendature of thought

    i do hate too see what is, at least in my opinion, a literary master, reduced to something so much less than what he is

    just as one should not veiw “Un Chien Andelou” and then ponder, “well… i think that it was a good film but not a great film… i much prefer Eraserhead as far as the surreal is concerned”

    but on the complementary

    your grammer is perfectly satisfactory whereas mine is most definatley not

  8. Dang girl, now MY ass is going to be sore for weeks!

    It’s somewhat entertaining to find that my late night carousing of cyberspace have caused a commotion of such consequence. I didn’t expect to stir up any muck on the bottom of the metaphorical ‘internet fish tank’ that is the small niche of BOOK blogs. Maybe a simple “piss off” was due, but the frenzy of angry women poised to lynch me was totally unexpected…

    I’ve responded to the above (or is it below?) comments here:

    LK. I’m far from being serious. Don’t take things so seriously, okay?

    Dorothy. You’re right in my book. How does that Motobecane ride? I hope that you get your form back on spot and finish the season strong. A relative of mine has been dealing with a similar problem and has been seeing endocrinologists… preventing her from getting in the saddle.

    Eva. Sloppy typographical error, my grammar is spot on. I never refuted the fact that he used drugs; I had an issue with using the term “drug addict.”

    Lesley. I don’t know how you automatically associated the word ‘large’ with ‘girth.’ Get your mind of out of the gutter and find a man to get you off for god’s sake… You have embarrassed yourself enough.

    Sherid. No hard feelings. Honestly, I’m bored and enjoy a half-hearted and somewhat drunken spar. It was neat to see that you reviewed this book, and I’m sure it will catch your readers attention the next time they happen to be browsing the local library or Barnes and Noble.

    Don’t hate.

  9. DAMN you HST fans are ruthless!!!!!

    Hey you – Mr. In defense of what Colton says – Oy Vey, you were fuckin harsh too, but at least you didn’t accuse me of paraphrasing wiki. Also, who would have thought anyone would ever compliment me on my grammar, which is admittedly atrocious. Hey, thanks anyway. Sorry, I didn’t put The Rum Dairy up there with the Mona Lisa, and War and Peace. Maybe next time.

    Colton – Thanks for taking my replies with a sense of humor. My main goal here is to talk about what I’m reading, and hopefully make some people laugh along the way. No hate here, and I was all set to forgive you until you were mean to Lesley! She’s my girl, and her book blog is FAR better than mine. You should check it out.

  10. and Just FYI for anyone who might care. Controversy is good for blog stats. 🙂

  11. Sheri: I have to agree – all was OK and humorous up until the ‘being mean to Lesley’ part. That just cannot be tolerated!

  12. Right on Suzi. No way.

  13. Jeannine Says:

    All I can say is WOW! This is all amazing. You go Sheri!

  14. This whole comment string reminds me of one of those boys vs. girls snowballs fights from elementary school.

    I meant to say in my previous comment something more apropos but got sidetracked by what struck me as funny (although t’weren’t me with my mind in the gutter!). I remember reading your original post on HST, and having never read anything by him, nor with any inclination to, your comments actually had me interested in the man and his writings. Seems like he attracts a devoted following, that’s for sure!

    And thanks for having my back, girls! 😀

    P.S. Sheri, you’re not a fan of Kathy Griffin by any chance?

  15. One thing I’ve found over 9 years of reviewing books is this: As long as you’re willing to say something other than glowing praise over any given book, someone will try to rip you a new one for doing so. There’s always someone who holds their favorite author as above reproach, and doesn’t understand that it’s okay for others to see that person’s work differently. For me, the ones I get slammed over are my reviews of Simon R. Green’s “Deathstalker” and Glenn Cook’s first three “Black Company” books. The funny thing is I actually really enjoyed Cook’s books, but I dared to say they weren’t perfect, and apparently that was enough to make me a terrible person. 🙂 You’ll also find the same thing if you post on Amazon—you’ll get far more ‘helpful’ votes on anything you rated highly than anything you criticized, no matter how civil and careful you were in your criticism.

    Don’t let it ever stop you from saying what you think. It’s important, IMO, not to let worry of being bullied for daring to criticize someone’s favorite author stop you from giving your honest opinion of a book. Otherwise folks might as well just read the press release rather than your opinions, ya know?

  16. Thanks ED! I appreciate all you advice.

    The funny thing is, I was actually giving The Rum Diary a good review. HA1 Not good enough, I guess.

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