Sparrow’s review of Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1) > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow sigh


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Just getting in on the thread for when this goes up. *so excited for your review*

Okay, I'll stop bugging/pressuring you. :)


message 3: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow No no. hrm. This will be good practice for me getting over my fear of disappointing people.


message 4: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Meredith wrote: "No no. hrm. This will be good practice for me getting over my fear of disappointing people."

OMG, let me know when that happens so you can tell me how to do it.


message 5: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Unfortunately, I messed around all weekend by reading this book and also reading a bunch of my friends' astrological natal charts to them. So, yeah. That was productive. Now I actually have to get stuff done or I'm in trouble. I've started the review, but it'll be a while before it's done. Plus, I'm pretty sure it will be totally anticlimactic once it's out. [insert undersell here:]


message 6: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Blue Castle AWW YEAH.


message 7: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! Hee, this is great! But I think the whoopee cushions are just as awesome as the banana peels. My sense of humor is unrefined.

A very nice clear-eyed look at this book. I'm having trouble with the campiness because I expect a certain amount of laughable earnestness from romances, but this whole exercise is to explore those expectations, isn't it.

Oh man, my first punch of realization (not the fakey "everyone has feelings" from cartoons) that guys had feelings, I had a health teacher in 7th grade who was bald, red-faced, and always scowling. When I first saw him as I walked into his classroom, I whispered to someone that he looked mean. He heard me! But he didn't call me out right there. I've mulled this over the years, that he waited until he could fold it into a lesson on self-image and he didn't name names. Not only do guys have feelings, but they can be nice and tactful. Whoa! :o)


message 8: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Eh! wrote: "But I think the whoopee cushions are just as awesome as the banana peels. My sense of humor is unrefined."

Ah, yes, the banana peel joke . . . a true sign of aristocracy.

Eh! wrote: "I'm having trouble with the campiness because I expect a certain amount of laughable earnestness from romances, but this whole exercise is to explore those expectations, isn't it."

Yeah, that first scene really caught me off-guard. You really have to push past. I think I started liking it when she goes to see the vampire queen lady. The campiness always borders on Naked Gun, which isn't really okay, but you just have to read really quickly through those parts.

Eh! wrote: "Oh man, my first punch of realization (not the fakey "everyone has feelings" from cartoons) that guys had feelings, I had a health teacher in 7th grade who was bald, red-faced, and always scowling."

Sad to say, I realized it only a few years ago, when I was living in this really depressing town and working at this video store. There was a man who would come in every day, who was totally the kind of guy I would have said was super creepy in any other situation. But he liked Bob Dylan and became my friend, and it was a little earth-shattering for me.


message 9: by Buck (new)

Buck What? Guys have feelings now? I blame Bright Eyes.


message 10: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Buck wrote: "What? Guys have feelings now? I blame Bright Eyes."

I'm pretty sure you're absolutely correct. That was the same year.


message 11: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Buck wrote: "What? Guys have feelings now? I blame Bright Eyes."

You need KEATS, dude. Keats is up to his elbows in guy feelings.


message 12: by Sparrow (last edited Jun 08, 2010 04:10PM) (new)

Sparrow Moira wrote: "You need KEATS, dude. Keats is up to his elbows in guy feelings."

I'd think Keats is more of a Coldplay to Shelley's Bright Eyes. ;)

Oh, and Blue Castle FTW, Moira!!


message 13: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Meredith wrote: "I'd think Keats is more of a Cold Play to Shelley's Bright Eyes"

<33333


message 14: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow oops. "Coldplay." sorry, people.


message 15: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Meredith wrote: "oops. "Coldplay." sorry, people."

We knew what you meant!


message 16: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Teller I don't normally comment on the reviews of others, but since your review dominated the list when I went to see what other folks had said about this book after I read it it seemed necessary to say something.

Meredith, you wrote far too much into this review than a review of the book. And you put too much of your own personal 'casting' of the book and social commentary on genre fiction than approaching the actual content.

Frankly you come across as a 'pop culture' kind of person, rather than someone who is actually well read, with all your references to tv shows and music etc.

Adding in photo graphics of some person (who is NOT dressed in clothes of the period the book is about and does NOT match the description of the character) makes you come across even worse.

You don't really do the author justice in many ways. 'Damning with feint praise' comes to mind.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

'Damning with feint praise' comes to mind.

This is the funniest thing I've read all day.

Also, fyi, the picture is of the author.


message 18: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Ceridwen wrote: "This is the funniest thing I've read all day"

At least it wasn't darning with faint phase?


message 19: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Damn this busy day!!! You guys know how I love a rumble. Luckily, I'll be in my Family Law class in about an hour, so I'll have all the time in the world to respond. Yay!

Two topics I've been thinking about that I'd like to address (both of which I'm sure you ladies have thoughts on, so feel free to talk amongst yourselves until I get back if you have the time):

1. Authors redeeming their own body types through descriptions of their protagonists at the expense of other female body types (like, you know Beatrice Small has little round globes, right?)

2. The novel becoming high class to film/TV becoming low class - a historical review.

(optional third topic: the idea that there is a correct way to write a book review.)


message 20: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Joseph wrote: "I don't normally comment on the reviews of others, but since your review dominated the list when I went to see what other folks had said about this book after I read it it seemed necessary to say s..."

Yo, Joe, how about providing a review template?
...We don't want to keep breaking the rules.


message 21: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Teller I'm not asking for a particular form, but when a review goes for several screens on my laptop I feel it excessive in length compared to most I find here on Good Reads.


message 22: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Joseph wrote: "I'm not asking for a particular form, but when a review goes for several screens on my laptop I feel it excessive in length compared to most I find here on Good Reads."

Aaaaaaaaaand clearly we have Rule One of the GoodReads Review Template: No review shall be longer than the size of Joseph's laptop screen! No exceptions!


message 23: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Joseph wrote: "I'm not asking for a particular form, but when a review goes for several screens on my laptop I feel it excessive in length compared to most I find here on Good Reads."

A most phallic observation.

Are you sure you're not reacting to the fact that Meredith's review has received 20 votes to your...uh...none?


message 24: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Meredith wrote: "Authors redeeming their own body types through descriptions of their protagonists at the expense of other female body types"

One thing that springs to mind is Charlotte's declaration that her heroine Jane should be 'as poor, little and plain as myself,' altho she did rip that off a tiny bit from Sister Anne. But maybe that's not quite the same thing as Mary Sue-ing it up, since in the text it is a definite disadvantage (unlike Bella Swan being too willowy thin and ghostly pale, &c &c).


message 25: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Teller Ceridwen wrote: "'Damning with feint praise' comes to mind.

This is the funniest thing I've read all day.

Also, fyi, the picture is of the author."


The choice of a single bad word when writing on the fly is a common event and problem. No more uncommon than typographical errors or the occasional error in hand coded HTML. A Google search on my error will actually pull up a number of people in various places who have made the same mistake when typing the same phrase.

The picture may be of the author, but still does not fit the description of the character, nor do I believe that the author is 'writing herself into the character' like some do (though I could be wrong, I'm not that familiar with her work).

She does say on her LJ website "Now in the interest of full disclosure I should say that when I was originally coming up with the character of Alexia I very loosely based her appearance on Italian actress Sabrina Impacciator."


message 26: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Teller My review is not intended for mass consumption on good reads... I don't have a large number of folks I know on Good Reads, its a supplemental site I use to track my reading. The review instead is linked into my Facebook and LiveJournal pages where more of the folks I know tend to read them.

That said a review up only a few hours is unlikely to have a large number of comments or 'likes' on Good Reads in general. It takes time (and not in the middle of a business day) for things to be observed.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Alright, I admit my comment was a cheap shot. Sorry.

Joseph wrote: "I'm not asking for a particular form, but when a review goes for several screens on my laptop I feel it excessive in length compared to most I find here on Good Reads."

But this is disingenuous. Your initial criticism of Meredith's review wasn't tl;dr - it was that she didn't adhere to the impersonal reviewing style that you prefer - which is fine, by the way, different strokes and all that - along with some ad hominem commentary about how Meredith clearly watches too much tv to be able to say something intelligent about books. (Which I find somewhat ironic, considering that this book - which I enjoyed - cannot be considered high brow in any way & does not regard itself so either. Imao, of course.)


message 28: by Moira (last edited Jun 22, 2010 12:30PM) (new)

Moira Russell Joseph wrote: "The choice of a single bad word when writing on the fly is a common event and problem"

Well, there are more than a few infelicities of style and grammar in your comment ('photo graphics'?), but it would be cruel to pick on them.

But dude, seriously, honestly, really, did you not see the '....more' javascript-link? All the GR reviews are snipped to from what I can tell less than a hundred words if you're just browsing them on the book's page. It's one thing if you dislike long reviews, but to say she imposed a tl;dr review on you is just false. You chose to read it after you clicked on it and saw how long it was.

Furthermore, the most popular review of the book that I can tell, by one Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" (52 votes, and highly laudatory), is 1160 words. Meredith's is 1336 words - not that much longer than the review that's right at the top. Doesn't that seem to indicate at least a number of other GR members don't have your problem with a review which actually makes you use the arrow key?


message 29: by Joseph (last edited Jun 22, 2010 12:39PM) (new)

Joseph Teller I wasn't trying to say that Meredith is in anyway unintelligent, or that pop culture was in some way preventing her from posting intelligently.

I said the review (what she wrote) was too pop culture and anti-genre oriented rather than taking the book for what it is and within the genre it was written.

I looked at her recent book list here on Good Reads and saw only a limited amount of fiction, almost nothing else in the similar genre categories and very little in the way of satire, humor etc.

The book itself may not be 'high brow' (a term I dislike, and a category I tend to avoid except in regards to authors like Hemmingway, who were not treated as a such in their day) but it is a major award winning novel and a Best Seller (hard to get with many genre books in this day and age).

It uses the trappings of genre to make certain points and to satirize the social structures and manners of the Victorian era as well as the literature of that day which the pop culture rediscovers ever so often (when the latest Pride & Prejudice film remake comes out etc).

I like that in fiction - Interesting Characters, Social Commentary without lectures, maybe some satire (or parody) and a reasonable plot that doesn't play soap opera or jump the shark into a loss of suspension of disbelief in the consistency of the structure and an avoidance of too many forced results.


message 30: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Joseph wrote: "I wasn't trying to say that Meredith is in anyway unintelligent, or that pop culture was in some way preventing her from posting intelligently.

I said the review (what she wrote) was too pop cult..."


You flat out wrote that Meredith didn't come across as someone who was well read and then proceeded to point out how she could have improved her review.

I think you need to re-read what you wrote. Yes?


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

I said the review (what she wrote) was too pop culture and anti-genre oriented rather than taking the book for what it is and withing the genre it was written.

See, I think this is still disingenuous & ad hominem - your criticisms still center on your belief that Meredith lacks the skills/authority/understanding to render an effective critique herself. She's not well versed enough in genre, iyao, based on perusing her shelves here on Goodreads, and therefore her review is wrong.


message 32: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Joseph wrote: "I wasn't trying to say that Meredith is in anyway unintelligent, or that pop culture was in some way preventing her from posting intelligently.'

No, that is in fact exactly what you said.

'Frankly you come across as a 'pop culture' kind of person, rather than someone who is actually well read'


message 33: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Teller Ceridwen, I can see now that trying to discuss the review or comment on it in any way was a mistake. The defensiveness on your part and of Meridith's friends in regards to her review makes it impossible to discuss the book, the points she made, any counter points to what she wrote or any other form of social interaction.

I don't know Meridith. The only way I can tell the value of what she writes or her opinion is what it says in her review compared to my experience of reading the same book, in her personal profile information and a look at the other books she has read, recommended or disliked and how she reviewed those.

Obviously for you and the rest, she can do no wrong. Her opinion is perfect, and somehow above my own or that of other folks on goodreads and those of professionals who award book prizes and review books for professional publications. I surrender. You win. I won't bother saying anything more here because I don't agree with what was said.

Don't bother commenting back I won't be reading any more in this thread, since I've been obviously been told my involvement and interest are not welcome.


message 34: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Joseph wrote: "Don't bother commenting back I won't be reading any more in this thread, since I've been obviously been told my involvement and interest are not welcome."

Whoa whoa whoa. C'mon now, everybody! Let's play nice! I think what is not coming across in all of these comments is that in our little group of book readers, I was one of the ones to defend this book as readable. So, I think people are feeling it's unfair that I'm getting criticized for my criticism. I think it's totally fair, though, so let's hang on a minute.


message 35: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Joseph wrote: "Frankly you come across as a 'pop culture' kind of person, rather than someone who is actually well read, with all your references to tv shows and music etc."

So, I love this comment. And, frankly, I do love pop culture. I love a lot of the classic literature I've read, also, and I feel like the two are complimentary to each other, so that might be a point where we disagree.


message 36: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 22, 2010 01:34PM) (new)

Oh for the love of pajamas. I think one could criticize Meredith's review, or disagree, or whatnot - I'm simply rejecting what I felt were ad hominem arguments, that centered in Meredith's knowledge or experience in the genre. I think saying "There were too may pop-cultural references" or saying it's too long does not engage with the argument she lays out in anything but the most topical of ways.

(And honestly, I'm a little confused about that - both Meredith and Joseph - who has huffed off this mortal coil and will not be seen again, apparently - both liked this book. Was he arguing that she liked the wrong things? That because she didn't think it was a grand satire, her enjoyment was misguided? I'm still deeply baffled.)


message 37: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Ceridwen wrote: "Oh for the love of pajamas. I think one could criticize Meredith's review, or disagree, or whatnot - I'm simply rejecting what I felt were ad hominem arguments, that centered in Meredith's knowledg..."

Yes, I agree, and I'm sorry Meredith, but I thought his critique was unnecessarily insulting.


message 38: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Ceridwen wrote: "Was he arguing that she liked the wrong things?"

I was thinking he wants me to be smarter and seriouser.


message 39: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Darn, and here I was thinking Meredith would appreciate a pack of ravening harpies who think her opinion is perfect and somehow above other folks on goodreads and those of professionals who award book prizes and review books for professional publications (as opposed to professionals who review books for nonprofessional publications?). ALL SHALL LOVE HER AND DESPAIR --

More seriously, I didn't mean to play too rough - and I don't think anyone else did either - it's honestly been my experience that when someone puts forward a really poor argument and several people point out to them, using their own words, how self-contradictory it is, they're likely to huff off.


message 40: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Ellen wrote: "Yes, I agree, and I'm sorry Meredith, but I thought his critique was unnecessarily insulting."

No problem, of course, Ellen! I'm superlatively flattered that this gaggle of literary acquaintances would have the grace and fortitude to come to my aid in time of distress. (working on being less pop-culturey here)


message 41: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Moira wrote: "Darn, and here I was thinking Meredith would appreciate a pack of ravening harpies who think her opinion is perfect and somehow above other folks on goodreads and those of professionals who award b..."

I do love it! But I also so love to have a good fight on here, and almost no one's ever brave enough to step in on a comment thread and make really vague and self-defeating criticisms. I'm just pouting that I didn't get more action.


message 42: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell I'm sorry Meredith, but I thought his critique was unnecessarily insulting

Yeah, I found 'Meredith, you wrote far too much into this review than a review of the book' deeply annoying (that is, what I could understand of it - his arguments were so garbled). It was (really poorly expressed) personal criticism, with stuff like 'makes you come across even worse.' (I wasn't even thinking that you had liked the book - and he did too? WTF?)


message 43: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 22, 2010 01:49PM) (new)

I'm still sad about the commenter from one of your Twilight reviews never coming back - although all of the lolcats on that thread might have been unnecessarily daunting.

*pop cultural harpies away!*


message 44: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Meredith wrote: "I was thinking he wants me to be smarter and seriouser."

Dude no, he likes 'Interesting Characters, Social Commentary without lectures, maybe some satire (or parody) and a reasonable plot that doesn't play soap opera or jump the shark into a loss of suspension of disbelief in the consistency of the structure and an avoidance of too many forced results' aaaaaaaaaaand you know what, if anyone can parse the bit after 'jump the shark' I will give them a dollar. TEN SHINY DIMES, FOUR GLEAMING QUARTERS ARE YOURS if you can tell me what the hell he meant.


message 45: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Ceridwen wrote: "*pop cultural harpies away!*"

WE SHALL SNATCH THE DOUBLE DOWN SANDWICHES FROM THEIR TABLES


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

CAW CAW.


message 47: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Ceridwen wrote: "I'm still sad about the commenter from one of your Twilight reviews never coming back - although all of the lolcats on that thread might have been unnecessarily daunting.

*harpies away!*"


I know. Sometimes I still sigh to myself about that girl. I was going to warn y'all not to go lolcatty on him, but I think we all learned our lesson there. I don't know why I think it's so hilarious when people want other people to conform to their ideas of books/reviews, but it seriously cracks me up.


message 48: by Caris (last edited Jun 22, 2010 01:57PM) (new)

Caris Joseph wrote: "I said the review (what she wrote) was too pop culture and anti-genre oriented rather than taking the book for what it is and within the genre it was written."

Shit. Don't back down, Joe. We've got to put these ladies in their places or they'll all be up and voting and wearing short pants and all.

This review is bad. I mean, who needs a photo of the protagonist in there? It's absurd. And all the personal garbage...ugh.

Joe, please turn away. (because, man-toman, I know you're to narcissistic to stop reading. Lord knows I am.)

Ladiesintheshortpants,

Whenever confrontations such as this happen in the future, I don't want Elizabeth telling me after all the fun is over. I don't have time to monitor my feed all day for cool stuff, so, whenever a throwdown is on the horizon, I'd appreciate a heads up.


message 49: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Moira wrote: "Dude no, he likes 'Interesting Characters, Social Commentary without lectures, maybe some satire (or parody) and a reasona..."

You got me. But, at the same time, who among us hasn't written an unintelligible sentence at one point or another? And we all criticize as much as we want. Also, I am not prepared to go near saying this is the most spectacular review ever. I even put that movie disclaimer in the review because I reached that point that I get to in all of my reviews where I thought, "Oy geez. I hope no one actually reads this monster. bwuhahahah."


message 50: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 22, 2010 02:05PM) (new)

Whenever confrontations such as this happen in the future, I don't want Elizabeth telling me after all the fun is over. I don't have time to monitor my feed all day for cool stuff, so, whenever a throwdown is on the horizon, I'd appreciate a heads up.

Dude, I totally updated my first comment to Joe on the feed. But me and my short pants will let you know sooner, should something like this happen again.

I know. Sometimes I still sigh to myself about that girl. I was going to warn y'all not to go lolcatty on him, but I think we all learned our lesson there.

No, lolcattiness would have been immature in this instance. Regular cattiness, now, THAT I can always endorse.

I don't know why I think it's so hilarious when people want other people to conform to their ideas of books/reviews, but it seriously cracks me up.

It's really funny, right? Because YOU BOTH ENJOYED THIS BOOK, just for different reasons. Why would that be something to take umbrage about? And for crying out loud, if it's tl;dr, then just don't freaking read it. I couldn't get though Lady Danielle's review - her sources of enjoyment were so completely different than mine - but fuck, I don't need to jump onto her thread and attack her for liking it for different reasons than I did, or for liking it more than I did.


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