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Read Rage

N.B.: If you haven’t read The Appeal by John Grisham, and you plan on it, beware of spoilers ahead.

Have you ever read a book that made you mad? I’m not talking about non-fiction – not like a book about the Holocaust that makes you angry and sad all at the same time. I’m talking about fiction.

Have you ever read a fictitious novel about fictitious things and when you were done with that book, you wanted to punch the author in the back of the head?

John Grisham’s a fairly transparent author. His good guys are good. His bad guys are bad. You can predict which way the ambivalent guys are going to go. This doesn’t mean his books are poorly written, though. I thoroughly enjoy Grisham’s novels. His books are fun to read because they explore legal issues, they build tension, the characters sound and feel real, and they usually examine some type of moral or ethical quandary.

But when I read this type of fiction, I’m not reading it to be depressed or to watch evil triumph. I want the bad guy to get some type of retribution. I want to live vicariously through the protagonists as they experience some type of success and vindication. It’s cathartic and rewarding and it makes the hour or two spent reading his 400 page novel worthwhile.

After reading “The Appeal” (this applies to a lesser extent to “The Partner”, as well), I didn’t get that emotional release. I got a depressing look at corruption with absolutely zero consequences for the villainous Trudeau and no satisfaction for the Payton family. Everybody who was getting fucked throughout the book continued to get fucked. Everybody who profited from the fucking continued to profit from the fucking.

I understand that some novels aren’t meant to be black and white, that they’re not cheapened so that there is a happily ever after ending, that they reflect reality, not fiction. Those aren’t novels for light reading. Those aren’t John Grisham’s disposable legal thrillers. If I wanted to read a book that had no point, I’d read non-fiction or something existentialist. I wanted to read a decent book that would keep my attention and then satisfy me with a resolution that felt like it meant something. Instead, I got fucked.

Fuck you, John Grisham. All that time I spent with your book I could have spent masturbating to donkey porn.

On a totally unrelated aside (idea stolen from Kapgar):

Go congratulate Sarcastica for winning Best Teen Blog at the 2008 Bloggies!

And in that vein, fuck Perez Hilton for stealing Best GLBT Blog from Puntabulous – Perez Hilton isn’t a GLBT blog, it’s a gossip blog!

And, while I’m at it, have I mentioned that I hate Dooce? Fuck her for winning anything – she is NOT a blog! is a series of articles about some of the most tedious subjects possible. A blog allows comments and recognizes its readers as part of an interactive environment. Fuck Dooce for winning “Best Designed”. Her blog is black and white. Real fucking creative. And “Lifetime Achievement” and “Blog of the Year”? Fuck you! Dooce hasn’t written a worthwhile post in at least three years. I hate her with a fiery passion. My first exclamation when I saw that was to shout, “I hope you get cancer!” (Yes, I know that’s horrible and evil and dreadful and shameful. And I think she already had cancer of some sort.) Britt said that I wouldn’t want that, because then she’d just get more sympathy and become even more popular. And she’s right. So, instead, I just hope that she breaks her fingers and can’t type for six months and all of her advertisers realize what a sham her non-blog blog is.

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77 Replies to “Read Rage”

  1. Karl

    I’ve read Dooce. She’s a good writer, but yeah, she doesn’t really write anything original. Like we were talking about at dinner, she is where she is because she’s one of the early bloggers and she happened to get fired for her blog. Lightning in a bottle.

  2. Amy

    Dooce is a flaming twatwad.

    The Appeal sounds like a book I would have been seriously pissed about and I LOVE John Grisham. But, I love him for all the reasons that I love The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Rainmaker, oooh and that really great one, Erin Brockovich. (ok, that last part was a joke. heh… nevermind.)

    This is the same reason that I have no interest in seeing No Country For Old Men. The bad guy gets away, the somewhat good guys get fucked… blah blah blah. I don’t want reality it’s a movie, I want an escape!

  3. HoosierGirl

    Wow, I felt exactly the same way about “The Appeal”. In ao many of Grisham’s books, there is a surprising twist at the end (“The Juror”) and the good guy comes out on top. And I thought he was headed that way, when the bad judge’s son got hurt….but he didn’t go there. He wimped out to make a political statement. I couldn’t believe it when I got to the end and it was the same problem as in the beginning. It was depressing.


  4. Jay

    I don’t know man. I’m having a tough time figuring out what your opinion of Dooce is. 😉

    I think the first time I ever actually heard of her was here on your blog. I’m pretty sure you weren’t recommending her to us though. Anyway, I thought I’d go over to her blog an see what was up. I thought it was pretty fucking boring. I didn’t see anything all that original over there.

    I’m pretty ambivalent about John Grisham too. I like his books just fine, but I don’t sit around in anticipation of the next one either.

  5. hellohahanarf

    so a blog has to be original to be a blog? fuck, i had better give up now, five posts in.

    i like dooce. she is not on my blogroll, but i do have her in my feedreader. we have had this conversation before and i still don’t get the hate, but i respect your right to have it.

    thanks for the heads up on the book. very appreciated. more time for porn!

  6. Winter

    For someone who’s out here solidly on the net for 14 years, I have to say I have no idea who Dooce is. However, she does sound like someone who, rather than needing her fingers broken, need her nails broken while her manicurist is on a looooong vacation.

    Grisham I can take or leave. Existentialists I like. Sartre’s No Exit is very funny and guess what? Everyone gets what they deserve in that story!

  7. Tracy

    At the risk of being flamed, I have to say I do enjoy Dooce. Is it technically a blog? I dunno. I guess I have to go with the judges’ decision on that one. However, on her header, it says very clearly “this is my website”, not “this is my blog”.

  8. Sarah is Ok

    A flaming twatwad? That’s an image.

    I agree about the comments on Dooce, but at the same time, if she’s so outrageously popular, think of how absolutely dreadful those comments would be. I love you, D. I want to eat you, D. When can I move in, D? But I’m with you, I don’t get it. Best design? I mean, every time I come here I immediately see knee socks, Hitler, and an ice cream cone. Seriously.

  9. MsFreud

    I used to read Dooce… Then she got redundant and boring- I think I stopped reading about the time she turned off her comments. Not that I didn’t understand or agree with her reasons for it- but it really took something away from her site- she could at least allow comments from known readers, or get someone to help her moderate.
    I have my own kiddie/mommy/wife stories to tell and stress over. I don’t often share them, for fear of losing the 5 (Okay 4) loyal readers I have.
    I haven’t read a Gris book in years. I took to Patricia Cornwell… Forensic Pathologist turned author, which gives a nice realism to the stories, as they are backed with the medical info dubbed, “Morbid Shit”, and the court legal shit of prosecution.

  10. Dan

    I’m not the biggest fan of Dooce. It’s not my place to comment on the mental health of that family, so I won’t (but they are all fruit loops as far as I can see).

    I do have her in my blogroll, but only because I was trying to get her to mention my charity on her blog. She didn’t even write back, so fuck her.

    I should remove it really. I’ll add it to the list.

  11. Cap

    I haven’t read anything by Grisham since his non-fiction book An Innocent Man, which I didn’t realize was non-fiction when I bought it. It was good, though, and the good guys won – mostly. Sounds to me like Grisham is trying to be “nuanced” now that he’s published 25 books. God, I hate it when writers try to be “writers”!

    If awards don’t matter and if no one really cares about the Bloggies, then why is Dooce winning such a big deal? I don’t get why people hate her so much, just like I don’t get why other people love her so much. To me she’s just … bleh.

  12. RW

    I can’t read Grisham. I can’t read anything even remotely like Grisham. It has been so long since I read A-to-B Fiction I can’t actually remember what the book was that I last read that was in the category. There’s something about genre fiction that I can’t get through. It’s 92% of the book market and it’s what becomes best sellers and it’s what the world reads but this kind of stuff is the most unimaginative, dull, pandering crap going. I like it offbeat, quirky, literary, and not a try for a movie adaptation. If fiction doesn’t bend the genre, take me somewhere new, get me to laugh, challenge my perceptions or carry on unafraid of convention to get to a new place in my head, I can’t read it. try Russell Hoban. You will thank me later (you can pretty much ignore his Wiki page, they missed the mark that time).

  13. kapgar

    Oh phew! I thought it was a fluke the once or twice I visited Dooce’s site and couldn’t comment. Of course, after those two visits, I never wanted to go back anyway.

    I need to start charging people for that TUA thing. 😉

  14. jester

    I can’t stand that Craig lost to that ugly jackass Perez. He doesn’t have a GLBT site, all he ever deals with even remotely related to GLBT issues is trying to publicly out people. I find that deplorable.

    Except when they deserve it.

    Or when it’s Tom Cruise. Then it’s hilarious.

    As far as Dooce, I know we’ve talked about this in the past, but she’s a barely literate hack whose presence on the net would be missed even less than my own were I to spontaneously disappear.

    I give up on the Bloggies. Fuck them.

    Man, I get cranky when I haven’t had enough sleep. :banghead:

  15. Miss Britt

    The fact that you are the supreme judge of what is and is not a blog is laughable.

    I don’t enjoy Dooce’s writing, but to say she doesn’t deserve a Lifetime Achievement Award is ignorant. Name another blogger more successful than she has been.

    So people (lots and lots of people) like something you don’t. Big fucking deal.

    And I agree about the book.

  16. NYCWD

    I never got deeply involved in Grisham’s books… but I did like The Pelican Brief.

    A big congrats to Sarcastica! That’s awesome!!!

    I also second your disdain for that crap called Dooce. I just don’t get it… really.

  17. Poppy

    So, wait, you’re angry that the world isn’t black and white and tidy all over? Or you’re mad that you wasted the time to have Grisham tell you that? Just checkin’.

    I am so happy for Sarcastica. She deserves that award. I hope she can handle the infamy. 😉

  18. ADW

    It’s the time investment and the excitement of reading that pisses me off when I am let down by a book’s ending. Then I feel a strong desire to take up arms and then beat the author about the head with those arms.

  19. Avitable

    Karl, I think she was a good writer. Now she’s just lazy and boring.

    Amanda, I know! I should just stop reading and focus entirely on porn from now on.

    Amy, I don’t mind the occasional movie where the bad guy wins, like Natural Born Killers. And I really enjoyed his earlier books when he still had a bit of optimism.

    Kyra, it is definitely baffling. Fucking sheeple.

    HG, yup! It was depressing and I can’t even understand the point of readi1ng it.

    Jay, I just figure that if I am going to read light fiction, it shouldn’t be so depressing.

    Zom, hah – very nice.

    Hello, no, but a blog has to be original if it’s going to be award-winning. You can put Dancing Avitable on there if you want – just use the embed code on Youtube.

    Winter, having her nails broken is too nice.

    Hilly, makes me want to douche my brain.

    Tracy, I’m not going to flame you. I do wonder what you enjoy, though. Is it the endless posts about her book and her advertisers? Or the crazy pictures of her dog with shit on its head? If you compare her blog to someone’s like Bossy or Britt, she pales with the quality of her writing and the interest of her topics.

    Sarah, well, I’m not saying I deserved best design, but there were other nominees that have much better design and content who deserved to win.

    MsFreud, I think that a blog is an interactive creature and removing comments makes it stagnant and takes away the reason it’s a blog in the first place. I don’t like Patricia Cornwell that much because I always thought her stuff was too predictable, and the whole Kay Scarpetta personal stuff just ended up annoying me.

    Dan, I also asked her to mention Puppy Monster and didn’t even get a reply.

    Craig, me too!

    Mr. Fabulous, put some ice on that hand.

    Em, I usually don’t pay attention to those things, but it just rubs me the wrong way.

    Cap, who says that awards don’t matter? I think they recognize good content, sometimes, and other times represent sheeple being idiots.

    RW, this doesn’t surprise me. You do realize that a good author can make genre fiction interesting with well-written dialogue and fully-fleshed out characters, right? Is there a particular Russell Hoban book that would be good to read?

    Tracy, I know. I really should try to let my feelings out, shouldn’t I?

    Kapgar, it’s a good idea and I might start using it more frequently now.

    Jester, Craig should start just posting pictures of celebrities with fake semen on their chins.

    Britt, who says I’m a judge of what is or is not? This is my opinion. And sites like Fark and Gizmodo, which were also nominated, have contributed much more to blogging to deserve a lifetime achievement award. PostSecret was nominated for blog of the year, and that’s a site that’s actually helped people. So you think she should have won instead?

    NYCWD, that’s because you’re actually a good writer.

    Poppy, no, not the world. I would like my books that have a beginning, middle, and end, especailly, light reading, to have some tidiness. To make it worth reading. Life isn’t tidy, so why do I want to read a book that is just as similar and cynical?

    Robin, Nineteen Minutes?

    ADW, thank you. Exactly.

  20. Clown

    To say Dooce does not deserve any of those awards? I think that is a bit harsh. She’s helped a lot of us out over the last few years and I can’t think of a blogger more deserving. You are free to have your own opinion but in this case it’s wrong. I will give you that the ads are a bit much but it’s not something I can’t do without. She’s feeding her family doing something she loves and that quite a few of us enjoy reading.

    The Appeal sounds lame. Pass

  21. Miss Britt

    Did I say anything about Blog of the Year?

    Umm… no. I specifically mentioned Lifetime Achievement.

    And you said:

    “Fuck her for winning anything – she is NOT a blog!”

    Funny, that didn’t sound like an opinion, or an acceptance of the fact that what you think is merely your own opinion.

    Listen, like I said, I don’t read the woman. I probably wouldn’t have voted for her (except for in the Lifetime Achievement category).

    But to act like because YOU don’t like her, her accomplishments, popularity, etc. don’t exist is just silly.

  22. RW

    Riddley Walker is his best known.

    My favorite in Kleinzeit which, strangely enough, I had to order from the UK because it seems no one has it here in the states(?)

    Yes I know that “standard” fiction can be creatively done, I would recommend you to a fellow by the name of Joyce Cary, though, to see it at its best (OK – opinion). But mostly I fall asleep with the Grisham types.

  23. Finn

    Is it bad that I’m really turned on right now?

    I used to like Grisham, but I don’t read him much anymore. He’s a wonderful storyteller, but his writing isn’t spectacular.

  24. Tracy

    Mostly, I’m enjoying watching her daughter grow up on the web. I have to wonder how that will affect her later in life. I don’t really care that her dogs can balance shit on their heads, but I do like a lot of her other photography.

  25. metalmom

    To receive a Lifetime Achievement Award you must have achieved something. What has she achieved other than a flock of blind lemmings much like the Oprites. I don’t think she qualifies as a blogger per se. I think a blogger implies interaction with your readers. She is more of a website-douchebag.

  26. Avitable

    Robin, yeah, thanks. Any more details than that?

    Clown, you actually made Britt ask me if you were on drugs.

    Britt, it’s on my blog – of course it’s my opinion. Unfortunately, until I get my way and my word officially becomes law, I’m restricted to just stating my opinion. And I’m saying that other blogs have actually achieved something that advanced blogging, helped other people, etc. Not an achievement of getting fired and then paying for her family with her blog.

    RW, okay, I’ll check it out. Have you ever read any Robert Parker?

    Finn, he’s just gotten worse in the last few years.

    Tracy, I can see having a personal attachment because you’ve watched her daughter.

    Metalmom, yup!

    Britt, yeah, that’s an achievement. Just not a very good one.

  27. Sybil Law

    I read Dooce the last time you went off on a tangent about her, and I was thoroughly unimpressed. She just did nothing for me. The no comments thing kinda drove me nuts. I guess she doesn’t have to have comments – that’s her right – but it’s like if she let people voice their own opinions, then she might have to argue, thus showing she isn’t so smart. I don’t know. She really irritated me.
    I voted for you for an award! I forget which one, though. I really don’t pay that much attention to the awards.
    But YAY Sarcastica! (I mean that sincerely in spite of what I just wrote!)
    Grisham – not a huge fan of his. His books are easy reads for sure, which is nice when you’re on vacation or something, but overall, they’re not what I look for when I go book shopping. I happen to like books that frustrate me or anger me or whatever – because isn’t that what the author is trying to do? If he got you so worked up, then I think he got his point across! Actually, it kinda makes me want to go read this one!
    And really – I think a Lifetime Achievment Award for blogging is so silly and dumb that it makes me laugh. Is she 80 now?! Has she cahnged poeples’ lives in a deep, personal way (maybe?!)?! Silly. If Ghandi had a blog, or even Mother Theresa had had a blog, then maybe. That would be some deep, profound shit. Blogging about everyday shit and being popular does not make a Lifetime Achievement.

  28. Em

    Gosh, I didn’t realize Dooce was such a controversial figure. 🙂 I had to check her out and. . .eh. For me blogging is all about the interaction so without comments I couldn’t be bothered. I mean, seriously good for her that she’s so popular and making so much money blogging, but I don’t understand the hype.

  29. Avitable

    Robin, yeah, I can see that one making you mad, but on purpose.

    Finn, I just consider a “lifetime achievement” to be something worthier than paying the bills.

    Sarcastica, tease.

    Sybil, I agree with you completely!

    Em, I’ve never understood it, either.

  30. Dawn

    Don’t hate me for liking Dooce, despite her (a) lack of commas where they belong and (b) use of commas where a period would be oh so much better.

    Have you not seen her daily photos of Chuck the wonder dog? And their new puppy, Coco? You can’t help but love THEM! You just can’t.

  31. Craig

    Is it too late to join the “I Hate Dooce Train”?

    Because I hate her blog so so so so much. And I only found it because of the (well justified) hatred spewing from this blog.

    The no comments thing drives me bonkers. And then when they are open, her fans go nuts! It’s so gross. She’s no different than the thousands of other Mommy bloggers out there trying to make a dent in the blogging world.

    And yes, I realize I wrote these statements as fact, and not in the form of my opinion (i.e. “I think that…”). Deal with it.

  32. DanjerusKurves

    re: The Appeal. I found myself thinking over and over “This genre has officially been done to death!”. I have a twisted tendency to want to see the bad guy(s) get away with it for once, but somehow that really did not happen with this book!

    re: Dooce. Why do people keep reading her if they hate her? Also, why do I get hundreds of visitors/lurkers and only about 5-6 comments on each of my updates? Not that I want to become quasi-famous. Honest! But I keep struggling with trying to decide whether to turn off the comments. Also, since I have been writing creatively for 30+ years, it pains me to refer to my website as a “blog”.

  33. Avitable

    Dawn, I don’t have a problem with people liking her. I like plenty of blogs that are sometimes boring and poorly written. I wouldn’t recommend them for a blog award, though, and I wouldn’t think that they are the most awesome blogger on the face of the earth either.

    Nina, like you!

    Kylah, who’s the most recent?

    BE, you didn’t fall in love with her immediately?

    Craig, you think my blog spews?

    Danjerus, because you post naked pictures. You’ll get many more visits than comments.

  34. MyWeeWorld

    I have read so many books that pissed me off for various reasons. Some are just dumb, some have tired plots, and some have characters whom I hate (and not in that “love to hate” way – just pure hatred of their tooliness). I’m on such a run of bad books that I’ve given up and am trying with all my might to read “War and Peace”. It’s just making me need to slit my wrists a little bit. I can’t keep the characters straight, and that makes me feel like a fucktard which again, pisses me right off.

  35. John

    I have ambivalent feeling about Dooce, always have. I think she’s a great wordsmith and a great writer. I think she tells a great story and illustrates her stories beautifully photographically. Having said that —

    Her snobbish method of allowing comments on precious few posts has always rubbed me the wrong way. To me it says “fuck you, I could care less what you think.” Secondly, I’ve often thought if I had a kid, a puppy, and a mental illness, well, I’d never be out of material either.

  36. Avitable

    WeeWorld, why would you torture yourself like that?

    John, I think she’s a mommyblogger. She may have been a good writer, but now it’s all about her book deal and other related shit, and it’s just become stultifying. Her photos are very good, though.

  37. hellohahanarf

    do you consider britt a mommy blogger?

    p.s. if you don’t read her, how can you say dooce is about nothing but a book deal? i don’t think posting about something important in your life is a bad thing…hell, fabby has been talking about writing and editing and all, yet we support him. that to me is what a blog is all about…writing about your experiences and your view of the world. now you know damn well that when you get to the point that you get a book published it will be (rightfully) all over this site. we will so buy the fucker. we will cheer you on during the adventure that is your book tour.

    now stop imagining us in cheerleader uniforms.

  38. Lisa

    I’m not a dooce fan by any means but it so happened that I read this post yesterday while I was sitting in the waiting room of my doctor’s office…so that I could talk to him about whether or not I have cancer again.

    I shit you not.

    I agree with every thing you say here…except the hope of her getting cancer. That’s a little deep.

  39. Gina

    A blog allows comments and recognizes its readers as part of an interactive environment.

    Absolutely! It frustrates the hell out of me when someone has a blog and offers readers no opportunity to comment. I have actually e-mailed Heather (of Dooce notoriety) and haven’t ever received a response back. I lose a bit of respect when a blogger doesn’t take the time to respond back to a reader’s e-mail. Responding back to comments is awesome and appreciated, but responding back to an e-mail is simply common courtesy. When she did not respond back to two e-mails I sent I began to see her as a snooty “A-list” blogger who doesn’t have time for the rest of us out here. Same for any “A-list” or popular blogger who doesn’t respond back to an e-mail from a reader.

  40. Avitable

    When I see A-list bloggers out there, I strive to be like them in the ways that they write, generate readers, etc. Her ignorance of her readers is not something towards which I’m striving? Yeah, that was really awkwardly written.

  41. Gina

    Ah! Now it makes sense! Thanks for the clarification!

    Have you noticed what I’ve noticed? I have noticed that the “A-list” blogs like Dooce and Mighty Girl and so on have gone downhill with their writing (less interesting, less unique…) since being considered “A-list”.

    And how do Dooce and her husband survive on blogging alone? I know through ads, but damn! I want to survive on blogging alone!

  42. Gina

    Perhaps that is what happened with the “A-list” bloggers’ writing then?

    I think I would still have millions of blog post ideas flying through my brain if I was being paid for it. I do imagine that being paid to blog, though, would take away some of the enjoyment.

  43. Miss Britt

    Gina brings up an interesting point. One I think is worth investigating further.

    As one of the people who half assed defended Dooce, I think it’s only fair that I throw myself on the sword here.

    So – who wants to pay me to blog? Someone pay me to blog and we can all watch and see if it makes me more or less interesting.

    I know. I’m a giver.

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