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26Lies Reviewed (believe it or not)

Three years after it was published, Russell B Farr at Ticonderoga Online reviews 26Lies--

Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth - Ben Peek

Wheatland Press, 2006

152 pages

RRP: US$14.95

ISBN 0-9755903-8-3

Reviewed by Russell B. Farr

This book bills itself as an “autobiography of a man who has been nowhere, done nothing and met nobody”, and with such a low peak to aspire to, accomplishes this. It consists of a number of short pieces, sometimes arbitrarily grouped around the alphabet, that overall form several plot lines. Thrown into the mix are examples of literary fraud.

The strength of the work lies in using the structure to create little moments of suspense while telling essentially uninteresting tales. This ends up being a bit like being fed day-old white bread a piece at a time when you’re not sure if you feel hungry or not.

Twenty six lies/one truth didn’t set my imagination racing, nor force me to get my brain out of first gear. It’s a competent book by a competent writer, but I get the impression it has been written entirely for the author’s own enjoyment.

Wheatland Press have a number of excellent, essential titles in their catalogue, but this isn’t one of them.


--though I suppose calling it a review might be a little kind.

Years ago, if I remember right, Ben Payne told me of a conversation he had with Farr, deep in the days when the Australian Spec Fic Scene used to get in an uproar every time I said anything slightly critical about their work, or their awards, or perhaps even the socks they wore. Anyhow, Payne said that Farr planned to write a scathing review of 26Lies, to let loose on it--it's been a while, so I'm not real sure on the details now, but at any rate, here it is, that piece of venom building in the back of Russell B. Farr's throat since 2006.

*Gently pats Russell on the head*

There, there.

Link.

(crossposted)

Comments

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(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Jan. 18th, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)
it's like primary school all over again.
fearofemeralds
Jan. 18th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
Ouch. Dude, I fucking love that book.
benpeek
Jan. 18th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC)
oh, honestly, this doesn't bother me at all. heh.

but i'm glad you dig it :)
drjon
Jan. 18th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
How odd. I've not had much to do with Russell. I think I've exchanged pleasantries once or twice.

His review reflects very poorly on him as a person, without actually casting any light on the subject of his review.

One would have thought he had friends who cared enough about him to point this out before he embarrassed himself by publishing it.
benpeek
Jan. 18th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
your guess is as good as mine, man.
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detritus2099
Jan. 18th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)
For a review that has had three years to percolate... it was kind of short. If that is a scathing review, then I can only guess he writes picture books for a living.
ex_benpayne119
Jan. 18th, 2009 02:17 am (UTC)
Fuck me, man, who remembers what happened in 2006?

From what I *do* remember though, I think a *lot* of people were planning scathing reviews of your work around about that time :-)
robinpen
Jan. 18th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
Well, I was planning one, but then someone told me I'd have to read it first.
(no subject) - ex_benpayne119 - Jan. 18th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cassiphone - Jan. 18th, 2009 05:43 am (UTC) - Expand
lyndarama
Jan. 18th, 2009 03:00 am (UTC)
I'm still biding my time...patience Lynda...wait for the right moment...

Lol.

Isn't the next step chasing him down and telling him to commit suicide or something?
ex_benpayne119
Jan. 18th, 2009 03:06 am (UTC)
*And* his cat!
(no subject) - benpeek - Jan. 18th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC) - Expand
angriest
Jan. 18th, 2009 03:26 am (UTC)
Maybe, and I know this is a bit of a stretch for you, but maybe as a reviewer, Russell really didn't like your book and was then obliged, as a reviewer, to write that he really didn't like your book.

This isn't directly aimed at you, but I for one am getting really fucking sick and tired of writers taking potshots at reviews of their work just because the reviewer or critic didn't like what they wrote. TTFU and do what writers do - write stuff. Don't whine about whether person X or person Y didn't like the work - they're just doing their job.
benpeek
Jan. 18th, 2009 03:49 am (UTC)
i don't really care if he writes a scathing review or not; but this isn't scathing, nor a review. its an attempted slam on a book three years old--the real question is why bother, the next question is why not actually write a proper review that takes the book, the work, even me, but at least be intelligent about it.

but hey, to each there own. if you think this is a proper review, power to you, i guess.
(no subject) - angriest - Jan. 18th, 2009 04:02 am (UTC) - Expand
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ataxi
Jan. 18th, 2009 05:43 am (UTC)
It's hard to work out who's being pissier here, the reviewer straining so hard to damn with such faint praise, or you Ben for posting up his review for ridicule and trying to link it to some off-beat scenestar conspiracy theory.

But as an uninvested outsider it certainly feels like all the punk-ass bitches logged onto the net at once today.
robinpen
Jan. 18th, 2009 06:21 am (UTC)
Your balanced and reasoned observation has led me to your lj which I think is rather cool.

Cheers
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(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Jan. 18th, 2009 12:01 pm (UTC)
way i figure, if you write an intelligent and good piece about my work and don't dig it, i got nothing to say regardless of if you dig it or not. but the whole bit bout being professionally 'quiet' as people reckon... nah. that's not fun at all.
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waylanderpk
Jan. 19th, 2009 05:46 am (UTC)
Just for the record, you can have personal conversations on LJ if you Friend lock your posts. Otherwise your having a public conversation, and if you say(write) something that somebody disagrees with in a public forum you can usually expect to draw a response.

So saying nasty things about people on your blog is about as trollish as it comes.
benpeek
Jan. 19th, 2009 06:25 am (UTC)
i'm going to take a wild guess and say you're from perth.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 19th, 2009 11:19 am (UTC)
Ben Peek does it again
Here is a guy who spends huge amounts of time putting shit on other people's writing and then whinges conspiracy when gets a bad review. You need to grow up, Ben, you really do. You are acting like a paranoid child. Take the shit and deal with it. And stop hiding behind a hoody in your avatar to try to make yourself look awesome. You are turning into a sick little fuck, and it's about time you got your head out of the mess it's in.
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