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January 3, 2006 7:26 AM   Subscribe

Bloggers make terrible novelists. Ana Marie Cox's "Dog Days" meets a reader.
posted by The Jesse Helms (42 comments total)

 
Oy, it makes me cringe just to read the review. "Capitolette"?

Wonkette is only popular because guys like to fantasize about getting anally carnal with her.
posted by lodurr at 7:34 AM on January 3, 2006


That is one bad review! And it sounds like the book deserves it.
posted by OmieWise at 7:39 AM on January 3, 2006


This makes me feel like such an idiot for not completing Nanowrimo.
posted by odinsdream at 7:40 AM on January 3, 2006


Oy, indeed!
posted by shoepal at 7:41 AM on January 3, 2006


Stupid self-promotion hype-riding just like that idiotic Million-Dolar webpage crapolla.
posted by HTuttle at 7:48 AM on January 3, 2006


Wonkette, while always being pretty bad, has been even worse since the birth of Butterstick the Panda.
posted by trey at 7:53 AM on January 3, 2006


That review stings like the wet slap in the face it is.
posted by zpousman at 7:53 AM on January 3, 2006


The only thing I learned was that for anything to be considered faux chic, political and hip it must end in -ette.
posted by prostyle at 7:58 AM on January 3, 2006


Yowzers. Sounds painful.
posted by thirdparty at 8:26 AM on January 3, 2006


Doesn't using the phrase blogosphere in your novel automatically deduct two stars from your review score?
posted by dial-tone at 8:31 AM on January 3, 2006


Ms. Cox, you're fifteen minutes are up. Here's your souvenier coffee mug. Now towel off and go home, thanks.
posted by jonmc at 8:42 AM on January 3, 2006


I can't wait to read Glenn Reynolds' collection of sestinas and hear Andrew Sullivan's opera.
posted by digaman at 8:43 AM on January 3, 2006


Strange review - why lose so much space and so much time writing a long-winded text that could be summed-up as "This is one bad book. Don't waste your time and money with it"? Bad books get published every hour or so, if someone had to write a review about each one we wouldn't have time for anything else.
posted by nkyad at 8:46 AM on January 3, 2006


Did anyone actually like _Eastern Standard Tribe_?
posted by kcm at 9:10 AM on January 3, 2006


God save us from Web writers publishing novels!
posted by ftrain at 9:11 AM on January 3, 2006


I would have been willing to give a book written by Cox a chance because regardless of the "tone" of Wonkette, she's a genuinely decent writer. But then I read the summary in that last link and Jesus tap-dancing Christ does that sound awful.

This is supposed to be humor a la Dave Barry's stab at fiction, right? There's no way a plotline like that can be anything but farcical. It sounds like a combination of Bowfinger and that awful "Porn and Chicken" made-for-TV movie on Comedy Central.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:15 AM on January 3, 2006


Does she have some sort of problem with her neck? Just asking, as both her promo picture and Wikipedia profile would suggest the presence of a spinal disorder...
posted by gene_machine at 9:18 AM on January 3, 2006


Eastern Standard Tribe was okay, but Doctorow's other books are better.

Besides, William Gibson blogs...
posted by lhauser at 9:26 AM on January 3, 2006


Cox is a weird case. I think she's a good writer, especially in non-Wonkette stuff where she lays off the overdone obnoxious tone. It's highly possible that she could've written a decent novel if she hadn't backed herself out on this weird brand-identity limb. Like, if your book deal is based entirely on matching up with this image you've created for yourself, you don't have a lot of creative room and can easily fall into hackwork.

Seems like a cautionary tale for writers wanting to ride blogs to fame.
posted by COBRA! at 9:29 AM on January 3, 2006


I think she's a good writer, especially in non-Wonkette stuff where she lays off the overdone obnoxious tone. It's highly possible that she could've written a decent novel if she hadn't backed herself out on this weird brand-identity limb. Like, if your book deal is based entirely on matching up with this image you've created for yourself, you don't have a lot of creative room and can easily fall into hackwork.

Agreed times 10,000. The problem here is that this isn't a book written by Ana Marie Cox. It's a book written by Wonkette.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:32 AM on January 3, 2006


Does she have some sort of problem with her neck? Just asking, as both her promo picture and Wikipedia profile would suggest the presence of a spinal disorder...

I'm betting she's been told that's her "good" side and as a result has taken to posing the same way all the time, a la paris hilton.
posted by zarah at 9:35 AM on January 3, 2006


"Bloggers make terrible novelists."

I'm not sure I'm 100% behind that particular statement.
posted by jscalzi at 9:35 AM on January 3, 2006


The Publisher's Weekly review says, "Fans of Wonkette's wit will find themselves better served by her blog," but she's supposedly quitting Wonkette.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:51 AM on January 3, 2006


"Does she have some sort of problem with her neck? Just asking, as both her promo picture and Wikipedia profile would suggest the presence of a spinal disorder"

It's just wonky.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:02 AM on January 3, 2006


One blogger turned novelist does not equal "all bloggers are bad novelists." Sensational headline anyone?

Neil Gaiman has a blog. Poppy Z. Brite blogs. As lhauser points out, so does William Gibson.
posted by nakedelf at 10:14 AM on January 3, 2006


zarah, yes, I immediately thought of the PH animation that was doing the rounds recently when I saw both pictures.
posted by gene_machine at 10:14 AM on January 3, 2006


Neil Gaiman has a blog. Poppy Z. Brite blogs. As lhauser points out, so does William Gibson.

But they were all authors before they podcasted in to the blogospher.ici.o.us or whatever the kids are calling it these days. It's pretty clear Ana Marie Cox got a publishing deal due to her Wonkette stuff.
posted by Spatch at 10:31 AM on January 3, 2006


It's pretty clear Ana Marie Cox got a publishing deal due to her Wonkette stuff.

And the main reason for her blogfame was her promotion of some chick who likes to squat-hump congressmen for cash. This is not progress, people.

What happened to the communications revolution we were promised? Oh wait, we generally use new communications tools to say the same old shit. I forgot.
posted by jonmc at 10:44 AM on January 3, 2006


nkyad: Strange review - why lose so much space and so much time writing a long-winded text that could be summed-up as "This is one bad book. Don't waste your time and money with it"?
If you get paid to write reviews, they generally expect you to come in at a specific word-count. Anyway, a good reviewer can make even a pan very entertaining. That's half the fun of reading reviews.
posted by lodurr at 11:08 AM on January 3, 2006


"But they were all authors before they podcasted in to the blogospher.ici.o.us or whatever the kids are calling it these days."

Tobias Buckell had a blog before he was published; his upcoming book just got a starred review from The Library Journal. Author Cherie Priest wrote a well-regarded novel which she partially published in her livejournal before it was picked up for publication. There are other well-reviewed writers who had some measure of notoriety as online writers/bloggers before they became authors; I name these two because they happen to be the most recent. If you want to go back a couple of years, Charlie Stross had a blog before he published a book; his current book (Accelerando) is an early favorite for the Hugo award.

There's no relation between being a blogger and being a shite author. One can certainly be both, but the former does not predicate the latter.
posted by jscalzi at 11:11 AM on January 3, 2006


Could everybody just go back to Suck and we all forget the last five years ever happened?
posted by aaronetc at 11:21 AM on January 3, 2006


wonkette = funny, although it's mostly written by other people these days anyway, someone named DCIVER, and Greg Beatto. Beatto is actually pretty funny, and soundbitten was one of the few blogs I read back when it was being published.

It's odd to think of a guy posting on wonkette. Personally, I don't get how you could just hand over the reins to someone else, I mean she is wonkette, yet the IP (I presume) is owned by gawker media.
posted by delmoi at 11:25 AM on January 3, 2006


Wonker TM just doesn't have the same ring to it.
posted by digaman at 11:40 AM on January 3, 2006


a good reviewer can make even a pan very entertaining

Indeed.

I didn't even agree with Anthony Lane in that particular case -- and, frankly, he could have written it without even seeing the film in question -- but acid-tongued bitchery can be delicious.

Cox herself is quite good at it too, of course.
posted by digaman at 11:50 AM on January 3, 2006


I can't wait for the movie!
posted by effwerd at 11:52 AM on January 3, 2006


What happened to the communications revolution we were promised? Oh wait, we generally use new communications tools to say the same old shit. I forgot.

Seriously, though, what else is there to say?
posted by dflemingdotorg at 12:03 PM on January 3, 2006


jscalzi speaks the truth. Be careful with them blanket statements.
posted by chicobangs at 1:15 PM on January 3, 2006


And the main reason for her blogfame was her promotion of some chick who likes to squat-hump congressmen for cash.

Squat-hump. Best verb ever.
posted by phoebus at 5:50 PM on January 3, 2006


ftrain made a funny! the rest of youse louses can choke on some erectile tissue...
posted by Jeremy at 9:59 PM on January 3, 2006


Maybe the real problem - generally speaking - is that anyone with access to a computer can type up a blog, but not everyone can actually write well, whether that be a blog or an article or a book. Being able to keyboard some text doesn't mean that you are a writer (or a journalist), but that doesn't stop the delusions of some people.

In the old days, wanna-be writer and poet types would send their stuff off to unlucky publishers and editors who'd consign it to the rubbish pile and then send out a snarky rejection letter. Now all they have to do is figure out how to upload it to somewhere, and they can subject everyone to stuff that previously would never have seen the light of day.
posted by TrinityB5 at 10:23 PM on January 3, 2006


"Bloggers make terrible novelists."

I don't see a very strong connection between the two, like blogging is usually likened to journalism rather than novel writing. Certainly there are people like Salam Pax and Bill Simmons that started uploading their stuff to the web without editors then moved on to a great deal of acclaim.
posted by bobo123 at 1:14 AM on January 4, 2006


"I'm often asked if the universities are stifling writers. My answer is that they're not stifling enough of them." -- Flannery O'Connor (attributed)
posted by lodurr at 6:14 AM on January 4, 2006


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