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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

angriest
Jan. 18th, 2009 11:48 am (UTC)
One of the things I genuinely respect about you is that I feel completely comfortable posting blunt and forthright opinions on your LJ, and can get blunt and forthright opinions in return, and I can come away pretty much unharmed and relaxed - on my part, anyway. I really hope (and suspect) it's the same for you.

I should admit that I don't think Russell's review was particularly insightful or stimulating, but to me that's a different issue to what i wrote about earlier.

The Jonathan Strahan thing? I absolutely get what you're saying, and respect the creative choice you made, but personally it's not one I would have made. There's a real person at the other end of the jibes and had I been in Jonathan's shoes I'd have been pretty hurt and offended.
benpeek
Jan. 18th, 2009 12:04 pm (UTC)
yeah, but way i figure, if i'd worried bout strahan, i should've been worried about the cock boy. i gave his real phone number out to as many people as there are that read this. also, his real name. so... my opinion, you do that, you don't cut slack cause one dude's mates are in easier reach.

anyhow, i don't mind the way this blog rolls usually. i do try to keep it civil here, which maybe comes thru or not, and you're always that, so no hassle.

(i did ban one dude in here, though. someone who was just trolling jon.)