Banned Books discussion

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BANNED/CHALLENGED > Not banned yet...read it while you can!

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message 1: by Stephen (last edited Jan 03, 2011 08:23AM) (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 15 comments My most recent book, Polly! by Stephen Goldin , was reviewed by, of all things, a member of GoodReads as "blasphemous" and "highly offensive." I admit to being a little surprised. I tend to think of the people here as being open-minded book lovers. I have no quarrel with this gentleman for speaking his mind and expressing his honest opinion; I guess I just had higher hopes, that's all.

Several other members gave the book 5-star ratings. Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Spider Robinson gave it high praise that would have made me blush, if I had any modesty at all. So people don't seem to be neutral about it.

The book is intended as satire.I think it's funny. It's even got a scene from a previously unknown Marx Brothers movie. But satire takes jabs at things that people take seriously. The more seriously people take those things, the sharper the satire needs to be. And that means people get offended.

What gets a book banned? First of all, it has to offend someone. I guess Polly! has managed to do that. Second, it needs to be perceived as a threat. So far, this book hasn't crossed that threshold yet where it's popular enough to be dangerous. But I can always hope it'll catch fire. Well, not in the book-burning sense....


message 2: by Kelly H. (Maybedog), Big Kahuna, Ministry of Illicit Reading (new)

Kelly H. (Maybedog) (maybedog) | 623 comments Mod
Congrats to you for getting a review that says your book is "blasphemous." That's high praise!

I haven't read it but I have read two of Stephens earlier books, the Jade Darcy series which I LOVED. So I'm going to give it a go.


message 3: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 15 comments Thanks for the praise, Kelly. Polly is a very different sort of character than Jade, but I hopoe you'll find her fascinating in her own right. And I'm in love with her, too. Pleasant reading.


Sandysconnected | 10 comments Describing it as blasphemous and offensive just probably upped its readers by fifty-fold!


message 5: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 15 comments That would be wonderful. From your lips to Polly's ears.


message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura | 1 comments I have to admit that the "blasphemous" review, the blurb, and the praise from Kelly managed to put it on my to read list. Sounds enjoyable to me!


message 7: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 15 comments Bless you, my child.


message 8: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Ashling (andrewashling) | 8 comments Sandysconnected wrote: "Describing it as blasphemous and offensive just probably upped its readers by fifty-fold!"

It certainly managed to put it on my "to be read" list. :)


message 9: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 15 comments I have gotten a few good reviews here and here that may help you move it a little way up your list. I hope you'll enjoy it.


message 10: by RB (new)

RB (rblindberg) I have not yet read this book, but judging by one of the negative reviews I think that the phrase "freedom of speech" is alien to them (that's usually the case with religious people by the way). The "recommended to no-one" remark just made me laugh. The only purpose that such a remark has is to alienate possible readers and to try execute censorship.


message 11: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 15 comments Rita wrote: "I have not yet read this book, but judging by one of the negative reviews I think that the phrase "freedom of speech" is alien to them (that's usually the case with religious people by the way). Th..."

Thanks, Rita. My sentiments exactly.


message 12: by Cassandra (last edited Aug 27, 2011 06:09PM) (new)

Cassandra Skellington (cloudyxdreamer) I hate censorship just as much as the next person, however, if you read the comments in his review, he said that he meant he recommended it to no one that he knew personally - which is who the review was for (who were most likely also religious) - and he found the JOKES blasphemous, not the book itself, because they "mocked God". Technically, saying anything negative about God is blasphemous by definition. So I wouldn't say he hates freedom of speech, so much that he was exercising his own in saying that he found it unsavory for him and his peers. For myself, though, I wouldn't mind reading it because it just looks good. x)


message 13: by Julie (new)

Julie (musicaficta) If it's blasphemous, then I HAVE to read it! People are too touchy about religion. That sort of thinking starts wars. Well, that and ill-timed words drifting through wormholes to far-off planets.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Just read some reviews. I know what I want under my tree this year...


message 15: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 15 comments I just put a new cover on the ebook edition of Polly! by Stephen Goldin . (The paperback edition retains the same cover, which I also like). I'd enjoy hearing what people think about it.


message 16: by Rick (new)

Rick Barnett (wraithsword) | 4 comments Personally, I've always thought that God, being the Almighty, is perfectly capable of defending Himself. After all, what's blasphemy compared to a crackling lightning bolt?

Rick


message 17: by David (new)

David | 9 comments Nice perspective, Rick! ~David


message 18: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 15 comments That's always been my opinion. If someone as out of shape as I am can be a threat to god, he can't be much of a god.


message 19: by Rick (new)

Rick Barnett (wraithsword) | 4 comments If conscience makes cowards, then superior fire power surely makes conscientious objectors of us all. ; )


message 20: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 15 comments Do you mean having superior firepower, or facing superior firepower?


message 21: by Rick (new)

Rick Barnett (wraithsword) | 4 comments Blasphemy vs. Lighning bolts.

This is a Fellow whose idea of being subtle is a burning bush.


message 22: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 15 comments I dunno...sometimes he's so subtle you can be convinced he's not there at all.


message 23: by Rick (last edited Dec 27, 2011 08:45PM) (new)

Rick Barnett (wraithsword) | 4 comments Long ago, I shelved matters of eschatology to the 'Suspense' category. One day, I'll know. However, I am in no hurry to turn to the last page of my story. Naturally, I have opinions, but as a wise Roman might have said, quot homines tot sententiae. Of this I am convinced... My belief in a Supreme Being, should He be myth, will not call Him into existence. And neither will my disbelief, should He be real, banish Him from existence. In the meantime, as a matter of courtesy, I try not to offend the sensibilities of others. Real or not, He abides in the hearts of many and it is not my duty or my right to dislodge Him.


message 24: by L (new)

L (dochavock) | 4 comments This book sounds like a "must read" to me.

I just purchased it on Amazon.com as well as the Jade Darcy books that look good too.

Well wishes.


message 25: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 15 comments L wrote: "This book sounds like a "must read" to me.

I just purchased it on Amazon.com as well as the Jade Darcy books that look good too.

Well wishes."


Thanks very much, L. I hope you'll find them as enjoyable as they initially seemed. Polly and Jade are two very different ladies, but each is fascinating in her own way. Pleasant reading!


message 26: by Bill (last edited Aug 15, 2012 08:33AM) (new)

Bill (kernos) Sandysconnected wrote: "Describing it as blasphemous and offensive just probably upped its readers by fifty-fold!"

Indeed it caught my eye. Though I don't believe in blasphemy, offensive is a big plus!

Congratulations Stephen. I shall be reading this. TBP is ordered. Do you think you'll ever do another Star Trek book? I have Trek To Madworld which I read long ago, but still somehow remember it.


message 27: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 15 comments As an atheist, I don't believe in blasphemy either. But I do believe that other people believe in it, deluded though they may be.

Thanks for the compliment about Madworld. You must have a very long memory. No, I don't think I'll be doing another Trek book. The publisher has to invite you for that, and I'm not really on most publishers' radar right now. Besides, at this late stage in my life, I'd much rather write my own stuff. I do hope you'll enjoy Polly! I'm kinda proud of what I accomplished in there, and I'm more than a little in love with the lady. A novel about a god that I, as an atheist, wish existed.


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