Wednesday, 1 April 2015

#29 - "Glenn Hates Books: Brutally Honest Book Reviews - Vol 1" by Glenn Conley



By Admiral Fartmore

(book submitted by some reader)

Editor's Note: We completely appreciate the irony of this review and think that Glenn Conley would, as well. If you like, you can check him out here.

Today I have the great honor of reviewing a book of reviews by Glenn Conley. If you have not heard of him, Glenn runs a blog on Wordpress (think like bench press, but for nerds), which is much prettier and much more popular than ours. It is called “Glenn Hates Books,” where he posts “brutally honest” reviews of books. This book is a compilation of his blog posts, organized from 1-star to 5-star ratings. A friend thought it would be kind of funny and meta for us to tackle this book, and since anyone who has a blog dedicated to making fun of bad literature is probably a complete scumbag, we figured his work was probably garbage as well. We were correct.

Glenn reads and reviews lots of books. Sometimes he reviews bad books. Sometimes he reviews mediocre books. Sometimes he reviews good books. His opinion is pretty run-of-the-mill in terms of what’s good and what’s bad. That’s uhh, pretty much it. Reading this book is kind of like reading lots of Amazon reviews, but with less variety in terms of narration.

The book bills itself as “laugh-out-loud funny,” which for Glenn means swearing and making the same jokes over and over. His written voice kind of reminds me of a lazy, knock-off Maddox, but more specifically, it reminds me of something I saw my friend’s mother post on Facebook:

Imagine 200 mind-numbing pages of this kind of pandering horse shit.

When every second word you use is some swear word, they start to lose their impact very quickly. Glenn seems unaware of this, as the word "fuck" alone appears over 500 times across this book's meagre 220 pages. In the correct context, exclaiming “fuck” in reaction to something can be a very meaningful and evocative – it can say more than perhaps any other single word in our language. That’s the purpose of vulgarity. But if you are being lazy and just using swear words as filler, you start to bore your reader very quickly. I’ve drawn up a quick graph to demonstrate this phenomenon:

Glenn’s work lands on the far-right, somewhere between when my alcoholic uncle starts explaining his racial theories and when you overhear 13-year-olds trying to sound cool on the bus. 

Unfortunately, this repetitive, boring effect is only enhanced by the structure of the book.  Grouping star ratings together was a bad idea, because it means that there is no variety in tone within any given section of the book. You have to plow through 20 some-odd very similar 1-star reviews, then 20 or so very similar 2-star reviews, and so on. This isn’t helped by Glenn’s proclivity for repeating jokes and turns of phrase:

Fuck [insert name] in their cunt, in their asshole, in their dirty asshole, etc. etc. 

After finishing the book, I'm just left wondering what the point is. Aside from the whole trying-his-absolute-hardest-to-be-offensive shtick, Glenn promises that his reviews are brutally honest. And I have to give him that – he is honest about what he likes and what he doesn’t like. I suppose that’s admirable. But it isn’t particularly unique, either. Actually, I daresay it’s pretty fucking common. And while Glenn’s blog can be amusing in small doses, his bit is just too thin to stretch across 200 pages.

1 comment:

  1. LMAO. This is fucking awesome. Thanks for the great review. :)