Oh John Ringo No! (reviews of bad books)

There’s lots of enjoyable things in the world, but few things compare to reviews of really bad books. You have to appreciate the few individuals who are willing enough to devote dozens of hours of their time to jump on the grenade for the rest of us, as it were, to bring us reviews of really bad books that we’ll never willingly read.

The scathing reviews, accompanied by hilarious commentary are a few of the elements that make these reviews particularly enjoyable.

Here’s one particular review of John Ringo’s GHOST, a book that opens with the following paragraph:

He knew that at heart, he was a rapist. And that meant he hated rapists more than any “normal” human being. They purely pissed him off. He’d spent his entire sexually adult life fighting the urge to not use his inconsiderable strength to possess and take instead of woo and cajole. He’d fought his demons to a standstill again and again when it would have been so easy to give in. He’d had one truly screwed up bitch get completely naked, with him naked and erect between her legs, and she still couldn’t say “yes.” And he’d just said: “that’s okay” and walked away with an amazing case of blue balls. When men gave in to that dark side, it made him even more angry then listening to leftist bitches scream about “western civilization” and how it was so fucked up.

It takes a brave soul to willingly devote countless hours to finishing it.

Have any of you ever read extremely bad books? A review should be in order, should you have the experience of reading anything from Terry Goodkind, or worse… Philip Athans.


To resume: Mike hitches a ride on the back of the van that kidnaps the coed. Mike, you see, is a former Navy SEAL, call sign “Ghost.” “Fifteen years in the teams had left him with degenerative damage in half the major joints in his body and a back that was compacted enough for a fifty-year-old,” but like most action heroes (see: Stephen Hunter’s Earl Swagger and his son Bob Lee, both of whom I love) Mike’s old injuries don’t enjoin him from going strong in the actual action scenes; they’re more atmospheric than anything else. It turns out that terrorists are kidnapping young women as part of a Diabolical Plan (“Let us rape them to the Glory of Allah!”). Mike’s plan to go for help – alas, he left his cell phone charging at home – goes toes up when he is spotted by a sentry and has to kill the man in self-defense. If he leaves to get help, the sentry will be found, and the bad guys will pull up stakes. You knew it was coming: former SEAL, outnumbered and outgunned, against a swarm of dastardly Arab terrorists. He rescues the coed, name of Ashley, but refuses to tell her who he is – he’s killed a bunch of people, and he’s worried about legal repercussions.

“I really want to know who you are.”

"Well," he said, grinning, "if you ever see me again, for the first time, be overwhelmed by a wave of lust and need to give me a blowjob right then and there, even if it's in public, okay?"

"Sure," Ashley said, shaking her head. "Men. Maybe not in public, but we'll talk, okay? This has..."

"Don't let this put you off of men, God damnit," Mike said, firmly. "I didn't risk my fucking life to have you go lesbo. All men aren't these filth. And if you decide they are, you're spitting on what *I* did . Because the *good* guys want to get laid, too. Understand?"


I have to admit – it’s so awful that I’d read this.

In before Umac says something about Richard Morgan.

Food for thought:

[quote]“You’ve never actually raped a woman, have you?” Amy asked.

“Depends on the definition,” Mike replied. “I don’t think any of the hookers in the third world are actually volunteers. I keep that in mind when I fuck 'em. It helps.”

…I… I just… OH JOHN RINGO NO.[/quote]

It’s been done:

Try some non-fiction. Clears the palate.

Did you transcribe that right? ‘His inconsiderable strength’?

Not a review, but I summarized the first three books of the Wraeththu series. Here’s a description of one of the big battles that takes place.

Swift and his Gelaming warband use the magical alien horse fasttravel to arrive where Ponclast has his HQ. It’s a blasted, dead land, all the stereotypes that go with big evil empires. This makes Swift want to fuck Seel but he decides that would be a bad idea. Swift has inherited the ability to raise one eyebrow from Terzian and the author feels the need to actually point out that he has this skill and who it came from. No detail too minor to be passed over, I guess. He and Seel blah blah about their relationship and how old Seel is.

So they intend to make the jizz crystal blow up Ponclast’s HQ and destroy everyone inside. And the jizz crystal now has an intelligence, so instead of just firing a bomb they are explaining to it how to do this. It’s a crystal made out of jizz and they are talking to it like it’s a particularly slow child. Lord. It takes flight as blue-green light. What I can only describe as a ghostly servant of Nurgle rises from Ponclast’s citadel and fights it. Seel and Swift decide that the jizz crystal is just as much their child as their actual child, so they join power to it and frantically perform sex magic to power it back up while the entire warband watches them. It’s painful for Swift and makes him think of rape. But then he has The Most Powerful Orgasm Evar and turns into a pillar of light and powers up the jizzbaby so much it totally fucks up that citadel and then, I shit you not, the jizz crystal turns into FOAM and rains down on the city.

I’m sad to admit that I read the entirety of Angie’s multi-part Wraeththu summary. It was hilarious, but I hate to admit to myself that I was at all curious about the series.

I have never heard of the series that you were reviewing, but that summary was really, really funny. It was almost enough to make me read the original!

Which is probably the opposite effect of what you were going for, so I guess your summary is actually an example of bad writing. Or something.

Hey now, I read the whole thing so no one else would have to. Well, the first trilogy. I haven’t gotten my hands on a copy of the second trilogy and I refuse to put down money for it.

The best thing is that all of Ringo’s stuff (or almost all of it) is available online free.

Heh, I do like the phrase “not inconsiderable”, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the word stand alone like that.

Ya know, I own a url, potboilercentral.com, whose whole goal was to publish reviews of books you pick up at Airport (and similar) bookstores. Haven’t actually put the site up, though.

Wow, these reviews are actually making me want to read the books, so bad they’re good.

edit OK, maybe not Angie’s books, having just read the first couple of summaries. Good lord!

That line is full of win.

What kind of hero struggles against his own ‘inconsiderable strength’. I, too, have inconsiderable physical strength, and most people don’t find that threatening in the least. Nor have I had problems holding back from using my inconsiderable strength to rape women, since (you know) they would beat me up.

My inconsiderable strength prevents me from picking up 600 pound barrels and throwing them at the masses of subhumans, armed only with their hatred for moral clarity.

That actually sounds oddly amusing and entertaining.

That actually sounds like fun. I’d pay to read summaries of this done by the likes of Angie and Bill D.

I think where I really failed with the summaries is that I didn’t really get across just how goddamn purple the prose is. I mean, read the quotes at the beginning of each chapter summary and realize that the entire thing is written like that. It was the worst part of reading those books, the details were usually funny and sometimes disgusting.

I got about mid-way through the description of Book 2 Book 1 and had to stop. That’s… just too damned horrible to even read a summary.

How did you read that without managing to allow it to lobotomize you? (Note that I’m assuming that the experience did NOT lobotomize you.)