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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.




Jan. 18th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)
I'm curious. Have you still not built a bridge over us not seeing you in Melbourne however many years ago? Wow. Was that the start of your whole "basic rules of politeness"? You must be a hoot at parties.
Jan. 18th, 2009 05:06 am (UTC)
I guess you're another good friend of Russell's, leaping in to defend him. Or perhaps you're a friend of angriest's.

Regardless, you have me at a disadvantage, however I've definitely no interest in discussing anything with adversorial folks who've intruded upon a conversation I was having with someone else... let alone presumptive, dismissive, insulting ones.

But thanks for your comment. You can be sure I'll keep it in mind.
Jan. 18th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC)
I think you should have sent your comments to Ben privately rather than to an open invite forum.

No need to respond, I know not really interested in discussing anything with me.

Have a healthy life.
Jan. 18th, 2009 05:21 am (UTC)
Well, I was talking to my friend, but thanks for your opinion, nonetheless. But I'm surprised you didn't send it privately. ;}P>

I think we can safely say, on the evidence here today, that there's a part of the Australian SpecFic Industry which although happy to criticise, is profoundly sensitive to criticism, so much so that to cast any untoward word at one of their number is to risk a rather swarm-like reaction in response.

How nice it must feel.
Jan. 18th, 2009 07:09 am (UTC)
heh. it's nothing new, man.
Jan. 18th, 2009 05:26 am (UTC)
I'm not defending anyone. And I have been part of this conversation the whole way through so I'm not "intruding" in any sense. Especially when I live with the "someone else" you were having a conversation with. It's ok, though. I'm sure you've let him know what your problem with him is.
Jan. 18th, 2009 05:33 am (UTC)
The conversation I was having was with Ben. As I implied, I've no interest in having any discussion with you. I'm certainly not interested in being the target for your vitriol.

Jan. 18th, 2009 07:56 am (UTC)
incidently, man, it seems like you might have some fans of your own out there :)