Some Good Words from Kirkus Reviews (And Some Bad Ones from PW)

Here’s some of what Kirkus Reviews had to say about The Singular Exploits of Wonder Mom and Party Girl: “A suburban single mother of two juggles her motherly responsibilities, the editorship of a local paper and a growing addiction to cocaine. This debut novel by English teacher and pop commentator Schuster (The Greatest Show in the Galaxy: The Discerning Fan’s Guide to Doctor Who, 2007, etc.) aims a pointedly jaundiced eye at American consumerism… Schuster does a fine job in maintaining Audrey’s aura of denial even as she plunges deeper into quicksand of her own making.”

The part that I replaced with ellipses was also… good, but mostly rehashed the plot. At the opposite end of the spectrum, however, was Publishers Weekly, which wrote (among other things), “Schuster can turn out a nice sentence, but it is difficult to see what he hopes readers will get out of this other than the message that drugs are bad.” The trouble with this isn’t that it presents an incredibly narrow and reductive reading of my book; it’s that I can’t even pull a decent blurb from it. I mean, truncating the quotation to read “Schuster can turn out a nice sentence” doesn’t really turn the review into a ringing endorsement. Sure, I could cut everything else away and say something like, “Nice.” – Publisher’s Weekly, but that strikes me as somewhat disingenuous.

Even the best quote I could pull from the PW review only reads, “some passages are funny in their absurdity.” Again, not high praise, especially since it’s followed by something about how “the humor quickly dissipates as the narrative finger wagging reaches a fever pitch and all but screams to just say no.” Which isn’t to say I can’t accurately condense the initial part of the sentence into “Funny.” – Publishers Weekly. Once again, however, we run into the whole issue of whether or not that’s a legitimate representation of the review as a whole.

But what the heck!

(See my next post…)