Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Bookmarks: Bookselling, Self On Orwell, and Book-Triggered Violence?

Oh boy, people these days are sensitive:

A book got a reader so angry that the latter shot an alligator, and author of said book is sad. "I didn't expect my book to cause the death of an alligator, but somehow it did," said Jeff Whichello, who wrote What Happened to Ochopee?.

Meanwhile, a schoolteacher was suspended, apparently for writing a work of fiction that featured a futuristic school shooting in the year 2902. So it seems the cops saw this as a red flag (he's gonna blow!) and combed the school for bombs and guns but, of course, found nothing.

And was hip-hop artiste Suge Knight shot to keep his tell-all book on the music industry under wraps?

...Okay, now for some good news.

There's this publisher that ditched Amazon and ended up "selling more books than ever".

How? By selling to venues other than bookstores - "museum shops and toystores", for one, and a multilevel marketing model, "an army of some 7,000 sales "consultants" who sell Usborne and Kane/Miller books directly to their friends and neighbours, mostly through book fairs and Tupperware-style home parties."

But the report cautions, "Whether Hachette and other publishers can duplicate EDC's success is by no means certain. Creating their own MLM divisions would seem to be out of the question, though experiments with select imprints might be worth a try."

Will Self calls George Orwell the "Supreme Mediocrity", "slamming the 'obvious didacticism' of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, and describing Orwell's acclaimed essay Politics and the English Language as 'plain wrong'."

The Pass Notes people at The Guardian wonder if it's because Self has a new book out.

Also at The Guardian: what they say is a chapter from an early draft of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Look at what Slate brought in: Pop songs reinterpreted as Shakespearean sonnets, anyone?

According to Slate, Erik Didriksen, the one behind the Pop Sonnets, "meticulously" adheres to the Shakespearean sonnet form, which "consists of three quatrains and a couplet, with the rhyming pattern ABAB CDCD EFEF GG."

Scroll down slowly and see if you can recognise the original hit. I could only spot several, but only because the lyrics were unique.

Oh, and check out this writer/ENT specialist's list of recommended reads. What books would she prescribe for a bad episode of allergic rhinitis?


  1. Hey, it's Jeff, the guy who wrote the book, "What Happened to Ochopee?" and caused the death of an alligator. (or did it?) I met Nile Duppstadt at the Trail Lakes Campground AKA Skunk Ape Research Center on July 27th where I and my friends were giving away 200 hotdogs and I was signing and selling copies of the book. I sold about 25 that day. (this is in the deep South Florida Everglades, USA) Nile introduced himself and mentioned that he had been running tours in the area for over 20 years. I really did not get much time with him; just the quick meet.

    Weeks later I received a phone call from a contact in Naples telling me that she's seeing my book on the news and where to view the video. I found it and watched as Nile swung my book around telling the reporter all about how it had inspired him and then I heard of his trouble. My first reaction after surprise was wow, "my book is on the news" Ok, ok, so I get back to reality and start thinking bad about Nile's situation. I didn't believe for a second that he should get a felony charge. I was compelled to accept an interview with the news to tell my side. That was strange for me because I had never been on the TV. I'm just glad it worked out for Nile in the end. He only received community service and the larger charges were dropped. My next book if you haven't heard will be: A Lion in the Swamp, also a true story taking place in the 1970s south Florida.

    1. Good evening, Mr Whichello,

      This is unexpected...

      Many thanks for the update. Hope Mr Duppstadt will be fine, and all the best with your next book.


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