Sunday, February 27, 2011

My WORST review ever!

I'm still reeling from the 2.5 star review DIGNITY TAKES A HOLIDAY I got at Jessewave Reviews (and from some of the readers at Goodreads). Now, I fully expected people not to "get" the humor and am not surprised at the reaction. However, it still stings. When publisher Elizabeth North accepted the book, she said something along the lines of it being, in essence, a love story, and that it "pushed the envelope." She said she liked stories that pushed the envelope. I love her for making that statement, maybe even more now.

I do not believe it's ever an artist's place to explain or be defensive about his or her creative work. It either flies or it doesn't. Obviously, DIGNITY did not and will not "fly" for some readers. I do, however, scratch my head, at anyone who sets themselves up as a reviewer to not be familiar with a literary concept known as FARCE.

farce (färs)n.
a. A light dramatic work in which highly improbable plot situations, exaggerated characters, and often slapstick elements are used for humorous effect.
b. The branch of literature constituting such works.
c. The broad or spirited humor characteristic of such works.

This type of humor has been around for a long time. And beneath it is usually a very simple message. And there's a very simple message at the heart of DIGNITY: it's about loving oneself when the world is telling you you're not worthy and about believing that love is out there for you regardless of, again, the world telling you you're not worthy.

DIGNITY was a very different book for me to write. I never wrote anything like it before and doubt that I ever will again. I don't know if I have it in me--it's ALL show and NO tell.

Anyway, I know that opinions are just that, but I did need to vent a bit about a review that cut to the quick.

P.S.  At about 3 o'clock this afternoon, reviewer Carey Parrish weighed in on DIGNITY on his blog The Outer View, giving it 5 stars out of 5 and saying, "A great read, and highly recommended, Dignity Takes A Holiday is Rick R. Reed at his best..."
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  1. Yeah, some people just don't get it, and sometimes I'm one of those people, but not this time. With this particular title, I got it, and in a big way, big enough that I expected the neighbors to come check on me the morning I finished the piece.

    I wonder if the physicians have a medical term for the morning heart attack cayuse by riotous laughter.

  2. You'll always have the 'one in every crowd', Rick...I've seen it with my own works; every author had.
    I read the blurb and I loved it! I think it's like watching the Three Stooges; lots of slapstick, physical humor. I love it, a lot of people don''s all in tastes.
    Sorry about your low review!

  3. Ugh. Sorry to hear about that, Rick. It's amazing how reviews like that can sting. Chin up.

  4. Congratulations! You have now entered my world, Rick - being an acquired taste, someone that reviewers don't "get", and I do understand how it feels to have a reviewer give your book such a low score. I've been there. But, you just have to wait for the next review, or the next, but eventually, someone is going to "get" you and that feels awesome!

    Rie McGaha

  5. I know how that feels...when something is just over someones head...I have the feeling sometimes that some reviewers just don't like me. I guess I had to accept that but it's damn disappointing to put all that work into a book and have someone trash it...take a walk over to Goodreads some day and read what some people say about my work if you want to share the misery. I brush it off but it stings!'re a great writer...don't let it get you down too much


  6. I am a curious sort, so I read the first few or so episodes (even though it is technically in Bobby's clutches) and I was laughing out loud. I read where other people were a bit hung up on the kitty abuse. I am trying to figure out if I should give the definition of "fiction" while explaining character development.
    Keep your smile in place, because it all just comes down to opinion. Remember the saying "opinions are like assholes, everyone has one" :) ---- Teagan

  7. Rick, that "stinker" of a review is a major bummer but I would like to say....I am a fairly new to Rick R Reed books reader...and this was my fifth book of yours and I luv'd it. I chuckled, I giggled and I flat out guffawed (I have never guffawed in my life *grin*) while reading it....I luv and even though I am a female relate to the quirky hero...we all have thoughts and inner dialogue and dreams that we are something, well, more....I really adored this book from cover to cover....So much so that I promptly went out and got 3 more Rick R Reed books.....
    With that said....always remember that even "bad press" is press that gets your name out there.....*grin*

    Thanks for a wonderful read and a wonderful time reading,

  8. Can't wait to read this one! Love your books!