Krystl Louwagie's Reviews > Bob Moore: No Hero

Bob Moore by Tom Andry
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There is an afterward by the author in this book that I was glad was there-I appreciate his honesty and what he's trying to do-he talks about writing (and never finishing) a novel/novella before and how the motivation of ease to self-publish online got him to finish this one. So, it's kind of nice to support the small time guy (Lacey, how easy is to to e-publish books? You should do it, maybe, try it on one or two of your novels or novella's-and I could make a cover for it! So could Angela (she's going to school to be a graphic designer, after all). Where was I? I think I found this at

http://www.getfreeebooks.com/?s=bob+m...

I loaded it because I liked the cover, and of course, I like comic books, so, I'm interested in super heroes and sci-fi stories. Andry talks about how his novella had gone through edits, and he also mentions some of the suggestions that were made to him that he didn't follow (I'm so glad he didn't in this case). The suggestion was to make the book longer by added in more unessential details/events at a certain part of the story-wrong! In fact, that's my biggest complaint about the book already! There's not enough cut out, and the first 40% of the novel is almost useless to any plot-it's hard to even know what the plot is, and that's not a plus for the mystery factor. This should've been a short story instead of novella, and it would've been a much tighter, more enjoyable read-because when the plot actually started taking shape, it was good, I wanted to keep reading-because by that time the details did matter-but I already wasted a lot of time (and created a lot of negative feelings for the book) before I got there. In my opinion all his "normal life routine" should've been way condensed and the story should have basically started with the Doc Arts case early on in the story, not almost halfway through. If the last 40% hadn't happened, this book would've gotten a 2 star or lower rating. If the first 40% of the book hadn't happened, it might have been bumped up in stars, who knows.

The writing wasn't bad, but did seem to have a flair of male chauvinism woven into to (I do understand that super hero stories typically lend themselves to that from the sexy art, etc. of comics). I just felt there was too much gratuitous focus on sexy female characters (and, of course, a non-serious lesbian affair because a sexy woman couldn't actually be gay-just having some fun-ack-like I said earlier, these whole scenes were not needed for the plot and should not have been included in the final edit).

But, as a short story, this could be a great Twilight Zone type, and I did like the character of Doc Arts (even though his name sounds so much like Doc Oc-was that a shout out to Spiderman? Not sure) and his daughter as well-it reminded me of the "Devils and Gods" story in Tori Amos Comic Book Tattoo-even if it didn't have a whole ton in common-the feel was the same.
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Reading Progress

March 11, 2011 – Started Reading
March 11, 2011 – Shelved
March 11, 2011 –
5.0%
March 12, 2011 –
26.0% "I'm thinking this won't amount too much. Too much trying to be funny and...typical James Bond male-ness?"
March 14, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Tom (new) - added it

Tom Andry Krystl,

Thanks for your honest and well thought out review. I really appreciate it. If I may respond to a few of your points:

Length - I can't argue with you there. I had my reasons for each of those scenes but you're absolutely right in that they don't really contribute to the overall plot.

Male chauvinism - I take issue with this on a personal level as I don't believe I'm much of one (other than I still hold the door for my wife of 10+ years) but I chalk this up to the genre (as you mentioned). The point, for the comic book crowd, is to point out some of the silly things we find in comics - namely that everyone is supermodel good looking with unbelievable physiques. I can definitely see your point now that it is made. I'll certainly keep it in mind as I finish the sequel. The lesbian scene was not so much to make a point about lesbians as it was to make a point later about spandex. But again, now that you point it out, I'm sure I could have done something else with it for the same effect.

Names - the names of all the characters have meaning. Doc Arts, while similar to Doc Oc, is actually taken from Dutch (Babel Fish is my friend). Arts = Doctor. Ignaro Medico translates to ignorant doctor. Bob's name is meaningful in that it was drawn from the most common names in the US. Novac (Liz's last name) translates to money. And on and on. To tell you the truth, it is really hard to come up with any sort of super hero name that hasn't already been used so I think that everything is either going to have an analogue in a comic somewhere or sound similar. For example, I found out after writing it that there was a short comic series named No Hero so I had to add the Bob Moore at the front to differentiate. Nature of the beast I suppose.

I haven't read "Devils and Gods" so any similarity is completely coincidental.

Lastly, thanks for the compliment on the cover. I was very pleased with James' work and he's already working on the cover to the sequel. You can see more of his stuff on his webcomic, The Path - http://www.wevolt.com/The_Path/

Again, thank you for taking the time to review my book.

Tom


message 2: by Krystl (last edited Mar 15, 2011 08:25AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Krystl Louwagie Ha-look at that-I've never had an author comment on my review.
Thanks for not taking much offense to the negatives-some of my goodreads friends edit their reviews when they know the author is a goodreads one-I don't. That being said, I'd hate it if my bad review ever contributed to someone losing hope in their writing; I usually just hope that writers will realize it's only an opinion of one person and just because one person doesn't love a book doesn't mean someone else won't, or that it's not good.

Thanks for speaking about the names, it's cool to know (like director's commentary).

Devils and Gods is a Tori Amos song that had a very short graphic story inspired by it-it was more imagery than story that reminded me of your story-there's a father/scientist type figure who's got mechanical body parts, and after his daughter died he made a mechanical daughter who looked real, and she thought she was real. So, not many coincidences, I just imagined the father and daughter to look a bit like Doc Arts and his daughter.

I took a quick look at The Path, but I'll have to return to look more thoroughly later-thanks for the link (it's always been my dream to be a comic book artist so I never tire at looking at how others do it).

Anyways, I think it's a good thing you're writing a sequel, and I'll plan on reading it (and I look forward to seeing the cover art). :) Good luck!


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