This Is Not an Odd Book Review – What the Hell Is Going on in France?

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Last year on Houdini’s Revenge, I wrote about how the media worldwide completely mishandled the details of the arrest of Varg Vikernes in the summer of 2013.  Seriously, it was a complete mess, and the hearing that occurred on June 3rd of this year was chilling in what it revealed and the implications for anyone in France who may espouse ideas that are contrary to a particular party line.

Before I begin to discuss the situation with Varg, I need to make a couple of statements, one for clarity and the other just because it always comes up and it’s tiresome.  First, let me tell you how I know Varg.  I met him when I was working on a project I started before 9/11 that eventually fell apart because I am sort of chaotic and was even more so back then.  I consider him a friend, and I assume he considers me one, too, though we frequently butt heads.  Second, despite considering Varg a friend, I don’t share all of his beliefs.  I mention this because I get shade from both sides of the fence and it’s annoying, when it isn’t amusing.  Some people assume I am an anti-Semite because I like Varg and that makes them angry.  Interestingly, some remain angry when I explain I don’t hate Jews because they think I should revile Varg for being an anti-Semite.  But then some people who agree with antisemitic ideas find out that I like Varg and that I am not an anti-Semite, and they get angry.  Not long ago some dude who thinks he’s like Charles Martel because being anonymous on the Internet is evidently pretty empowering was so annoyed by me that he social media snarked me with, “Oh, you are a multicultural white genocide supporter?”

Isn’t that how journalists used to know they were on to something – when everyone was pissed off at them?  That’s what I tell myself these days.  So please know I don’t want to hear your opinion about my beliefs, unless you feel that freedom of speech is a bad thing and then I will totally be willing to throw down with you in comments. 

This Is Not an Odd Book Discussion: A handy guide

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Dear readers,

Some of you are aspiring writers. Some of you are published writers. All of you are heavy readers.  And almost universally, my readers are people who love small presses. I myself am a fan of small presses. But sometimes small presses are run by ignorant pricks.

Here’s a handy guide that will help you determine if the editor of a small press is an ignorant prick:

— Did he change the title of your story so that it now contains a misspelling?
— Did he fail to tell you he changed the title of your story before the story went to print in an anthology?
— Did he make you sign a contract allowing the press to edit your work but then confused editing with rewriting?
— In those rewrites, did he change the gender of a character, create a name for another character and include implied rape in a story where there had not been rape prior to the “edit?”
— Did he call you unstable and mock you when you contacted him about these appalling breaches in editorial conduct?
— Did he impugn his own press as he scrambled to call you such a bad writer that no professional press would touch your work?
— Is his name Anthony Giangregorio and does he run Undead Press?

If you answered yes to some of these questions, then chances are your editor is ignorant or a prick. If you answered yes to all, then the ignorant prickiness goes down to the molecular level and you should use your stories as cat litter before you submit them to such a press.

Sadly, Mandy DeGeit did not have this handy list for reference and was fucked over by Undead Press. But through her suffering we’ve all learned a important lesson today, I think.

Much love!
Anita at IROB

PS:  Increasingly, I think that perhaps old Tony is really an evil, ignorant prick.

PPS:  There is now no question about it.  Tony really is an evil, ignorant prick.  He very recently made a veiled threat against writer Alyn Day, mentioned in the link above.  Yes, I can hear the neckbeards explaining, ever so patiently, that old Tony isn’t threatening Alyn.  Why wouldn’t an editor who has been shamed for his dreadful treatment of writers decide to stop by the homes of one of the writers who outed him as a cretinous jerk?  Don’t we always stop by the homes of people who have exposed our shoddy business practices?  Couldn’t possibly be that Tony wants to intimidate Ms Day by implying he plans to come to her home “for a talk.”  So let’s all add whistle-blower intimidation to the long list of things wrong with this choad.

Shoplifting from American Apparel by Tao Lin

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Book: Shoplifting from American Apparel

Author: Tao Lin

Type of Book: Fiction, novella, autobiography

Why Do I Consider This Book Odd:


Does it really matter?

Availability: Published by Melville Press in 2009, I highly advise that you not buy a copy, but rather shoplift a copy. If you get caught and arrested, take your mugshot, superimpose it over a picture of your ass, and mail it to Lin. He will then fashion all of the be-assed mug shots into some sort of self-aggrandizing but ultimately morally and socially empty project and thus the circle will be unbroken.

Comments: I genuinely do not understand how anyone could like this book, let alone the nice, earnest, decent people who recommended it to me. The only thing that prevented me from shitting on this book or setting it on fire is the fact that I needed it in a relatively clean state so I could discuss it thoroughly, complete with quotes, even though quoting it will only cause this godless endeavor to be exposed to more people.  But as I have always said, when I hate a book, I need to support my case and discuss thoroughly why the book is bad.  I briefly considered ignoring this book and just letting the wretched memory of it die but I can’t. My compulsive nature forces me to discuss every odd book I read, and, more to the point, I just want my voice to be out there in the electronic wilderness, urging people not to read this book.  This book is the naked Emperor and I don’t want anyone who reads this site to be a part of the crowd that refuses to say, “Hey, the Emperor has no clothes!” Or rather, “Hey, this book is a pile of shit and your soul will be imperiled if you read it lest you lose your will to live and find worth in the emotionally void headcases Lin droned about, stick figures that misguided people think pass for hipsters. Run, run away and avoid this book like it has the plague and wants to ass fuck you without your permission!” Or words to that effect.

Also, for reasons that will become clear, this may be the first bad review I ever enjoyed writing.