MaxBarry.com
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Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.

Blog

Tue 10
May
2005

Blog this

Writing I’m happily browsing the web, minding my own business, when I stumble across it: an article called “Writers Who Blog,” that totally trashes me out. I know! I was shocked too. Still, I was prepared to file it away with all the other things that make no sense, like fat-free chewing gum and Florida, until I discovered something: the article was by the same guy who once wrote one of the worst reviews of Jennifer Government I’ve ever seen.

I believe there’s an old saying: diss me once, shame on you. Diss me twice, I totally go you on my web site. So I’m pulling off my writing gloves (a simple design to the eye, but they have hidden layers) and knuckling up.

First, the review. Now, I understand that people need to review books. It’s a valid profession, even noble in its own way, and performs an economically valuable function, like prostitution, and selling heroin to teenagers. Maybe book criticism is even more valuable than those. But there are certain Things Critics Do That Piss Me Off, and Todd Bunker does three out of five. Plus one I keep meaning to add to that list: he gives away some of the ending. In fact, he blabs about something that happens on page 325—which, given it’s a 335-page book, should surely be punishable by public flogging. I’m sure most authors would agree with me.

That review was written under a cowardly pseudonym—the only reason I know “Johnny Yuma” is “Todd Bunker” is this new article, in which he fesses up even while dumping more buckets of cold, smelly editorial down my back. It goes like this: Todd, who is a novelist, is thinking about adding a blog to his own site. Curious as to whether this would be a good or bad thing for his career, he checks out Neal Pollack, Wil Wheaton, and me. Neal and Wil come out of it with minor wounds, but me: whoo. First he blasts me for being on the receiving end of some kind of publishing promotion. Then he says the only reason I sell books is because I created NationStates. He disses my “Ride the Walrus” blog, saying it proves I have nothing to write about, then he suggests I lie about how many people visit my site. He calls my readers sycophants (!!) and finishes up by rating my blogs as 2/10, because they’re: “Beside the point. [Max] blogs for hits.”

Being interested in site traffic is a pretty brave accusation to make in an article that contains three hyperlinks to Todd’s own site, an Amazon link to his novel, and an image that when you hover over it pops up: “Todd Bunker Todd Bunker Todd Bunker Todd Bunker Todd Bunker Todd Bunker”. And that crack about “Ride the Walrus” is totally undeserved. I tell you, it’s the sensation that’s sweeping the nation. It’s clear to me Todd hasn’t tried it at all.

After finding so many faults with other people’s blogs, Todd decides against creating one of his own. The “constant interaction” would be “too much of a good thing,” he says. Instead, he prefers to retain “a bit of mystique”.

Well, I don’t know, Todd. If “mystique” means concealing that you’re a tosser, it might already be too late. I say, have the courage to put up a blog. Look, it is tough to get noticed as a new novelist; there are way too many of us. I tried the quietly-wait-for-the-world-to-notice-your-great-novel thing, too, and it didn’t work out: I had a good book, good publishing support, and great reviews, and it just sunk. If you want to write books and tuck them into your desk drawer, then great. But if you want to make a living out of writing stories, you have to do something more than sit back and wait for success to land in your lap. You have to do everything you can.

So don’t be scared, Todd. Show us what you’ve got.

Comments

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Henry T. Monkeypimpenstein (#1212)

Location: Wellington, NZ
Quote: "Monkeypimp: Geeky enough to use his lame NS forum name here too."
Posted: 3359 days ago

Finish him! Finish him!

teh Hack (#931)

Location: Elsewhere
Quote: "Admit Nothing, Deny Everything, Make Counter-Accusations"
Posted: 3359 days ago

Hm. Jealous lil' shit...

Matt (#808)

Location: AZ
Quote: "The only 3 books I've read in the last few years have been from the Barry Collection"
Posted: 3359 days ago

Excellent job calling him out on this. Definitely time to take a stand and let him know what's up :)

nick (#798)

Location: US
Posted: 3359 days ago

i don't really know if anyone has thought of this...

http://www.toddbunker.com/thechampion.html

if you read that little summary bit... it sounds a lot like the TV show/movie aeon flux... i'm sure there are differences... but i dunno... it just seems like they're too much alike

http://imdb.com/title/tt0402022/

i just kinda saw the 2 as similar..

i don't really care about his other book because its summary was generic to say the least... which could or could not be better than the lack of originality his other book seems to have

Chris (#816)

Location: Quebec, Canada
Posted: 3359 days ago

I'm wondering if that guy didn't try reading Jennifer Government backwards. Either he was, or he wasn't paying attention.

Machine Man subscriber Mapuche (#1184)

Location: Darwin, Australia
Quote: "Inconceivable!"
Posted: 3359 days ago

<sycophancy>
I would be interested in you reviewing some of his short stories, available on his website...
</sycophancy>

<evil grin>

Brett (#332)

Location: Scotland
Quote: "Onions and Syrup, Please. Maybe JG too."
Posted: 3359 days ago

From the review: "As the novel relies almost exclusively on plot, a synopsis is in order." Eh? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Aren't all good novels based entirely upon a plot? Perhaps his writing seems better to him because it's rambling, and without any kind of point.

Holly (#880)

Location: Pennsylvania
Posted: 3359 days ago

I could have it all wrong, but isn't someone who writes novels and blog articles (nada mucho IS a blog)a "writer who blogs?" One might even suggest that he contributes to the Nada Mucho blog as a means of self promotion.

Machine Man subscriber Machine (#957)

Posted: 3359 days ago

Loved the calling out of Todd Bunker. He had it coming. I love the situation it puts him in. Lets see him squirm. After some deliberation he's decided against blogging himself, yet how then is he to respond to your public riduculing of him? You've asked him to show you what he's got yet blogs are a naturally understated medium. I can see him now pacing around his bedroom in his parents house ringing his hands and doing draft after draft of his maiden blog (insert evil laugh here).

Stuart (#542)

Location: England
Quote: ""Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a day. But set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.""
Posted: 3359 days ago

It's sad that some people who don't have talent are incapable of recognising it in those who do.

That guy needs a good face-stabbing...in a highly metaphorical way of course.

Justin Holt (#147)

Location: Rochester, NY
Quote: "www.justinholt.net"
Posted: 3359 days ago

One way to get publicity on yourself, I guess, is to trash somebody else. I'm sure, if nothing else, because of his trash literature on you, and your response on him, he's inflated his exposure from nobody knowing who he was ten minutes ago to, well, to "the same 10 sycophants commenting on his blogs" knowing who he is now. He doesn't believe in marketing numbers? Yeah right. He's playing the marketing game right now.

His article looks like a whore trying to promote herself by saying she isn't a whore. Wtf is that? Key part of that piece, "Note: Todd Bunker is no stranger to shameless self promotion." Yet he will say, "Barry took up blogging solely as a means to drive traffic to his site". Wtf? Does he have any interaction with Max Barry, Wil Wheaton, or Neal Pollack to infer that including any of these three names isn't more or less doing the same thing for himself?

And by us commenting on this talentless pile of...well...let's just say that the name of his publishing company, Upset Publishing, captures exactly what he is. Just look at the guy, at the picture on his site, the picture screams "I couldn't get laid in high school so I'm going to resent everybody for the rest of my life." That, or he's the long lost son of Gomer Pyle.

But I think after this little boost of ego for him--and that's really all it is--he can crawl back into his little hole and his 'woe is me' world and quietly f**k off until he decides to try and wave the attention flag his way again. When is Company coming out again? Exactly. Expect to hear from him again in the near future when he tries to spike that 1.6 million sales rank he has on Amazon.

And just for the hell of it...I have a higher Amazon sales rank than he does!




Jack (#1194)

Location: UIUC
Quote: "Pants?"
Posted: 3359 days ago

Holt's got this one right, though I'll put a slightly different spin on it: this is like a Fox program. When the high quality stuff doesn't roll, just drop the lowest common denominator. People are drawn to attrocity (because it makes us laugh), and bad publicity is better than no publicity at all.

By ripping on Max, he's actually enraged the Bar-meister into linking to the man's work, not once but twice (did I miss any links?), and how many of us went and followed those links and read his sh*t. And it counts even if you just read it for context or, having already decided that you hate the man who assaulted our host, to find out why you hate him.

Bunker got his publicity and he did it without having to directly and specifically kiss anyone's @$%.

Besides, being constructive is hard. It's so much easier (and crunchier) to just be negative, cold, and rude to people and hope that, like in elementary school, somebody else thinks it's cool, and that you're cool because you're willing to be mean.

shabooty (#637)

Location: D.C./V.A/M.D.
Quote: "I will shake your foundation. I will shake the f**cking rafters. Nobody'll be the same -Danny Bonaduce ....& go visit my blog @: http://www.shabooty.com"
Posted: 3359 days ago

Max 2, Todd 0
goodgame
$

Kalle (#1278)

Quote: "Sex is herital. If your parents never had it, chanses are you'll never have it either."
Posted: 3359 days ago

Racking down on yourself can be very efficient. Here in Sweden, our biggest ice-cream company released an icecream called Nogger Black.
www.gb.se/products/pinnar_och_strutar/klassiker/1109921498.html?sc_layout=8491 Instantly, people complained that it was rascist, and the papers wrote about it, and so forth. When it's all over, well just remember the ice-cream company. And the ice-cream will sell as hell.

Picto (#64)

Location: United Kingdom
Quote: "Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light? - Maurice Freehill"
Posted: 3359 days ago

Does this guy have nothing better to do?

Look at this interview of Neal Pollack about his book and CD 'Never Mind the Pollacks', with, yes, the text written by Todd Bunker.

http://www.tabletnewspaper.com/arts/84_never_mind_pollacks.html

Infact, with questions such as "Your novel and companion CD Never Mind the Pollacks came out on September 30th. If you could, summarize the book in haiku form," and "And why should anyone bother reading it? Just who do you think you are?" I'm starting to wonder what’s the point is living anymore. Original but stupid. Just wait til you read about the Californian election and pants...


Tablet: And why should anyone bother reading it? Just who do you think you are?

NP: If you like rock, and you like reading, and there is SOME intersection there, then this is the book you’ve been waiting for. It’s the first novel to ever read like a rock album. Who do I think I am? Um. Bow before your new rock god?



What sort of question is this: "Tablet: Does it bother you that I’m not wearing pants right now?"

An interview that starts off talking about his book then talks about rock n' roll (a little connection to the book) and then just total randomness. Dare I ask what's going on?


Tablet: I see you’ve thrown your hat into the ring for the California gubernatorial election, pending the recall of Governor Gray Davis. Isn’t gubernatorial an odd word?

NP: Yes. It sounds like a place where goobers go swimming. Don’t ask me questions like that. Jesus. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the new face of evil.


I really can't read anymore...




On Todd's entry that Max was referring to:

Traffic Flow Increase: 7/10 – IF you believe his numbers. Always seem to be the same 10 sycophants commenting on his blogs, however.

I've seen at least 12 different people on this new blog? When was his last eye test? Anybody?

Isn't the whole idea of blogging to entertain and interact with the fans? I don't see many famous celebs doing that nowadays so he needs a reality check.



Oh, and Max?:



GOOGLE FIGHT:

todd bunker
205,000 results

max barry
2,750,000 results

The winner of the fight is Max Barry! K.O. ;-)

Myrth (#22)

Location: London, UK
Quote: "A quote must have a beginning, a middle and an"
Posted: 3359 days ago

Linking to his site/review from here has probably doubled his traffic. Kinda ironic.

Pete (#1273)

Location: Variable
Quote: ""One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings""
Posted: 3359 days ago

Cant believe the DICK said what happens at the end of JG. I am in Canada and have been looking forward to getting and reading that for bloody ages. Wont be the same now.

Bastard.

If he was trying to boost himself by trashing Max, it wasn't a great idea....he even trashes in boring and tedious manner. This blog has convinced me that I realy want to read Max's work. Todd's articles have convinced me I would not wish to waste my time reading any more of his writting.

Self defeating Bastard.

xk3zofrenik (#1160)

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote: "These human ruins."
Posted: 3359 days ago

Max I love your books, and Nation States is the most addictive game ever to enter my brain, with all that love in mind I still Have to say:

Don't put your writing gloves for such occasions.

It wasn't really worth it. This is like making fun of the president, and commenting on his IQ, not really a challenge.

Somehow it only shows that you did this out of that poorly written review in that whatever website, that right now has undeserved attention.

Tim Ashwood (#595)

Location: Sydney
Posted: 3359 days ago

Did all us 19 commentors vote on The Todd's articles in Nadamuco? Or is it really true that only 20 to 50 other people bothered to read his pile of steaming tripe?
On other news, how many people think The Todd is jealous, considering that at least one of his books seemed to contain characteristics similar to JG?

Emily (#609)

Location: New York
Quote: "When in doubt, fuck it. When not in doubt, get in doubt!"
Posted: 3359 days ago

*applauds*

Jeez, Bunker! The reason we love Max is that he acts like a NORMAL freaking person, rather than someone who says philosophical stuff all the time! I love stuff like Ride The Walrus.

Honestly, this guy seems jealous or something.

Well done. ^_^

-Em

Jamie (#111)

Location: Auckland
Quote: "Anyone still spelling "internet" with a capital "I" is probably struggling with the complexities of their new-fangled electric typewriter."
Posted: 3359 days ago

Well, Todd Bunker wrote a blog about going cold turkey on the internet (which, I'm not surprised to note, he thinks needs that annoying capital I).

http://www.nadamucho.com/Music_122.html

From his blog, we learn:
1) A working Monday for Todd is slightly over 5 hours long.
2) At the end of this gruelling day, and after 7 pints (possibly of shandy), Todd staggers home to his wife and sleeps on the couch at 8:45.
3) He'll cut work early (on a Tuesday) to go drinking at a strip club with workmates.
4) He calls in sick to the company paying him to write this crap (which they now know about, so he's also at a bit slow...)
5) The movies he chooses to watch on his stolen day off include Caddyshack. Now really, could the man have less taste?
6) Although he was going to go a whole week (gasp) without using the internet, he lasts 3 days.
7) The blog was written in Febraury 2000, and in the last 5 years, an amazing EIGHT people seemed to have bothered to vote for it!

Ari (#1107)

Location: somewhere around California
Quote: "Can I be a random member of the moment?"
Posted: 3359 days ago

Goodness, this Todd Bunker guy seems really pretentious and annoying. Half of what he says is wrong anyway. He basically said you write because you want hits, which is so untrue. Like any honest writer, and you even said this yourself, you write for fun. Well of course to get published and all of that too, but seriously—for the most part you don’t ask for anything back on your blog. Your blog is purely for you to write about whatever you want, and that’s FINE! GAH! He frustrates me so much.

Second, he chooses to criticize everyone else before even taking it on himself. What does this mean? He just doesn’t get it, that’s what. Instead of exercising his writing skills and such, he goes out of his way to BASH OTHER PEOPLE. (These caps are probably unnecessarily. I’ll stop now.) But does he try it himself? Of course not. This only shows me one thing: he’s scared. He’ll opt for writing scathing reviews for perfectly good novels instead of minding his own business and writing about something innocent and lighthearted like how you do.

Third, he takes himself WAY too seriously. (Oops. Caps again.) I mean rating your traffic flow increase and reader interaction? Please! Also the whole “bit of mystique” thing speaks for itself. He’s one of those overly cynical people. It looks like he hates everything in order to stand out and it also looks like he thinks he deserves everything.

And fourth, he gave Wil Wheaton a higher score. I’m not sure if this counts, but I put it here anyway.

Yenzo (#829)

Location: Secret underwater pyramid base in the Pacific
Quote: "In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe (Carl Sagan)"
Posted: 3359 days ago

I'd be frustrated too if I had five older siblings and if I lived in the rainiest city of the US.



Plus he's ugly.

Adam (#580)

Location: Hotel Lobbies (with Winona Ryder)
Quote: "I want to be famous. Really famous."
Posted: 3359 days ago


The funniest part: judging from the synopses, his novels seem to be humorless cousins to the Barry books.

FergHova (#834)

Location: Woodstown, NJ
Quote: ""I once shat on a VHS copy of Down periscope to prove a point.""
Posted: 3359 days ago

Emily claimed that Mr. Bunker is "philosophical." Well, if he's "philosophical," then Wil Wheaton is a great actor with a lengthy and amazing resume.

Geoff (#851)

Location: Colorado Springs
Quote: ""There is no love in fear.""
Posted: 3358 days ago

Sadly this isn't going to be as oroginal as I'd hoped. But I have to agree with the roughly dozen other people who wonder if he doesn't trash you just to get his name out there. You did link him twice and I'd imagine that his site traffic has tripled already- though I doubt he's getting very many good votes for this one. I too am an aspiring author and if somebody gave away one of my ending points, I'd try to light him on fire so- congrats on having VASTLY more self control than I.

And his review of WWDN was lame as well. Pissant. hmph.

Machine Man subscriber Brad Mendenhall (#23)

Location: Shrewsbury, Pa
Quote: "Max Barry? I thought I this was the Dave Barry Website! You mean he doesn't swear he's not making this up? (Shameless Plug - check out my website www.CosmicGeppetto.com)"
Posted: 3358 days ago

There is a weird thing I've observed with some writers who seem to think trying to be successful is beneath them. The most famous recent example is Jonathan Franzen turning his nose up at being selected for Oprah's book club. As if being exposed to millions of readers deligitimized his work.

I think blogging is a great way for authors to keep in touch with their audience. It not like recording stars who perform concerts or TV stars who can be seen every week in reruns. Authors can go 2 or 3 years between books and that is a long time for readers to keep someone on their mind. Is blogging traditional? No, but some of the more tradional avenues aren't available anymore. Remeber when Late Night shows featured author interviews? Trust me, it used to happen.

The publishing business is a business, and authors have a responsibility to themselves and the people who put money behind their work to try to sell books.

Mystique is great when you've already acheived your success, but until then (to paraphase Curt Schilling) 'Mystique's just the name of a dance in a night club.'

syrup6 (#1224)

Location: Arkansas
Quote: ""Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion" - Kierkegaard"
Posted: 3358 days ago

Every writer thinks himself the greatest, or he would not pour out so much of himself. Truely it is the audience that makes a writter great. Which means they must support not only your work, but you. Because in accepting your work, they have accepted what you have poured into them. I can remember maybe two years ago when I emailed you, you emailed me back. I thought that was just so neat that you cared enough to get in touch with those that support you. I've been quoting you for 5 years now. And don't see any reason to stop now. It's not the critics that support you, but us. And so, like any good person trying to getting a hometown indie band into the market I've bought and given away copies of your books to unsuspecting supporters of the "cause"... write on.

Cantrall (#26)

Location: New Orleans
Quote: "Anagrams with my name: Chancellor thirst rap, Anarchist perch troll, Ranch pro at hillcrest, Ill rorschach pattern, Cornstarch hitler pal"
Posted: 3358 days ago

I think he just doesn't have a sense of humor.

Andrew (#899)

Location: England - 7th State of the EU
Quote: "History never repeats itself; at best it sometimes rhymes - Mark Twain"
Posted: 3358 days ago

does anyone really care what he thinks? you dont need to justify yourself to the likes of him - a man with no will or inclination to live an honest life.
i think thats what is wrong with journalism, it used to be about reporting the facts to the people and allow the average citizen to (heaven forbid) work it out for himself, but now its all opinions.
Dont worry Max i thought your book was great, and you still have your army of loyal fanatics who will buy your next book. I mean thats why you write right? to make us all happy....

Ruth (#288)

Location: Bath, United Kingdom
Quote: "Only the insane have strength enough to prosper. Only those who prosper may truly judge what is sane."
Posted: 3358 days ago

I'm a happy little sycophant, I am ^^

Out4Blood (#1049)

Posted: 3358 days ago

Here's another take: I would never, ever, ever have heard of this so-called non-blogging novelist, Todd Bunker, if YOU had not mentioned him.

Max, you played right into his clammy little hands. Here he went and got the world's greatest self-marketing author (Max Barry) to market for HIM. (There's no such thing as bad publicity.)

Out4Blood (#1049)

Posted: 3358 days ago

My interest piqued, I visited his article. (Shame on you Max! In fact, I'll bet you and Todd were roomies at some idyllic writing conference 15 years ago.)

It wasn't that bad. I don't think he painted you as negatively as you made it appear. He came across a bit high-minded, but what book reviewer doesn't?

I wonder why he didn't mention Cory Doctorow? Not only does he blog, but he gives his books away for free!

Queen Eve (#460)

Location: Dimensions at SanguinemDraconis.net
Quote: "Sanity is a gift; given at birth, lessened by maturity, and gone from us by the age of reason. --Kestral Lei"
Posted: 3358 days ago

Well now.

A lovely tirade, and after reading the article on critics, I can say that I wouldn't like them either if they did those things (particularly giving away endings). But I rarely worry about what critics think about any book that I am interested in. If I decide I want to read or purchase a book, I will just flip to some random pages in the book and start reading passages. If the passages interest me, then I read it. If they don't, I don't. And just to be certain I didn't stumble across a page where the book is lagging, I do this 3-5 times to check the results.

I'm also one of those people that don't bother with what a critic thinks of a movie.

Now, as angry as you are about what this man has done to you, twice now, I remind you that you have just sent several devoted followers to -his- site so that they can look into more of his craptacular writing. You've just given him free publicity.

And because your readers are the type to speak their mind, I'm sure a number of them have also commented on his site. They have likely torn into his works, giving comparisons of his blogging to your own. I would not be surprised if they have also torn into him for daring to be so rudely demeaning for what he said about your writing, your blog, his accusations, and the readers who follow you. This in turn will be read by others, who may go so far as to purchase his books just to read him. I can only hope they will also purchase your books to truly compare writing abilities. But I somehow doubt that will happen.

I've said it before, Max, and I will say it again. You have the power. Use it well. I understand being offended by this person, but you have helped him far more than you have delivered any real blows... aside from possibly his ego. Any publicity is good publicity. And I would go so far as to say that he had enough of a firing neuron in his head to realize how prone you can be to lashing back... which is why he chose you as the subject of his negativity. He has sucked you into his game by doing so. Don't let him do it again.

You notice as much as I have spoken against him, I refuse to name him. Why? Because that only puts his name out there more. He is not worthy of my time to mention him by name. There are a bevy of other things I feel inclined to call him, but few of them are appropriate for the mass audience. I, therefore, chose to simply ignore him.

And you should too.

Kael (#1245)

Location: I wish I knew... do you mean physically or metaphorically?
Quote: "Monster put in wallet..."
Posted: 3357 days ago

Bunker is just jealous because he doesn't have a book translated into German titled "Fukk".

In fact, I'm jealous of that too.

thewylddream (#1191)

Location: Montana USA
Quote: ""Always forgive your enemies -- Nothing annoys them so much." ~Oscar Wilde~"
Posted: 3357 days ago

Max and Co.


Because I found this web site, AFTER writing a glowing review of J.G, I found most of “unknown loser critic’s” commentary to be total bullshit. I had never played Nation States, and probably never will though my friends find it to be exhilarating. Furthermore this Blog didn’t sell the book to me, a friends glowing remarks about the audio book did. I am sure that is true for many of you also. So what if he is a little prick with a big mouth? And so what if Max wants to show you all what a bastard he is? Isn’t that what Blogs are for? I mean he did decide to take a jab at US Max’s fans/readers. We have a right to know someone is calling those who bother to post on regular basis sycophants!

What I am getting at is… I wouldn’t know he was full of shit if I hadn’t read it. And so therefore thank the Gods for stupid people that make you think. I also thank Max for sharing this with me, because even though it is aggravating that I actually put his “viewer count” up I at least now know what he is talking about when he says he has a Nemesis critic. Though really as a nemesis he is pretty weak. Someday Max will have thousands of loser critic’s nipping at his heals and dogging his success, and this loser will be a footnote in Max’s biography.

So be it.

C. W. (#1092)

Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA
Quote: "Cynic: An idealist that gets let down every fucking time."
Posted: 3357 days ago

>If “mystique” means concealing that you’re a tosser, it might already be too late.

Way to call him out, Max. I'm proud to be one of your many sycophants.

Ari (#1107)

Location: somewhere around California
Quote: "Can I be a random member of the moment?"
Posted: 3357 days ago

Kestral Lei, doesn't your not-naming-him thing just make people more interested in who he is, and so then maybe they'll just try to find out?

I'm really happy Max called him out on his crap to be honest. I can say that the way I found Syrup was by typing in "humor" in my school library search engine. Thirty seconds later I had the book in my arms, and then a month later I bought a copy for myself. I didn't find the book through blogging at all. It was only when I decided that Max must have a website (because it seems like everyone has one) that I discovered this blog. That was just an added bonus because it was like, "Oh great! Now I don't have to stand waiting for another book to come out! I can just read this in the meantime!"

I wouldn't say this particular post about Whats-his-name (no, seriously, I actually forgot) had too much to do with publicity. Sometimes it's just worth it to bite back, and this is what Max did.

I do admire how critics don't really faze you. But it wasn't really the fact that this guy was just a critic that set a whole bunch of people off. It's the fact that he's a condescending jerk who types out of his ass! We can all really agree that what he has to say is completely meaningless, especially since he DID write one of the worst reviews of Jennifer Government ever. How legit is he? He's not legit. He's just not. But the fact that he had the nerve to open his mouth in the first place just gets to me. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Sophie (#891)

Location: Devon
Posted: 3357 days ago

There's nothing wrong with getting publicity for Nation States, its a good game - it won 'Website of the Month' in Big Cheese magazine a little while back [its a British rock music magazine, I don't know if you get it in Aus?]. How many Website of the Month awards has Todd got, hmm? Max: 1 ... Todd: 0. Woohoo.
Besides, I don't mind if he thinks we're sycophants. You really are one of my favourite writers and I'll gladly show my love, regardless of what this guy thinks. And that’s what matters most...;)

Queen Eve (#460)

Location: Dimensions at SanguinemDraconis.net
Quote: "Sanity is a gift; given at birth, lessened by maturity, and gone from us by the age of reason. --Kestral Lei"
Posted: 3357 days ago

There is a difference between calling someone out and giving them free advertising. Not only is he getting free advertising on a site with better reviews and more readers, he is also getting the kind of publicity that people like him dream of... "bad" publicity. Conflict is the drive here and Max just helped fuel the flame.

A good number of people have been spouting his name on here and talking about how much they dislike him and how proud they are of him. But remember people, the world as a whole does not usually contain a large number of smart, self-thinking, intellects who can discern for themselves. And there is a section of the global population who flock towards -anything- which someone else labels 'a stinking pile of crap'.

I dont even want to dirty my fingers typing his name. I resisted any urge to click on any links or google him or in any other way look for information on him. But the urge did come, meaning that Im not wholly unaffected by the drive that compulses the some of the general public to do stupid things. Now since I know this urge was there and defeated by me, I also know that any number of people may one day come across this blog and see everyone talking about how horrid this person was and they are gonna go "Hmmm.... I wonder how bad it was?". And then they are gonna see all of the loyal Max readers who are praising Max for standing up to him and decide "I really gotta see what else was said".

Now they go looking for the guy. And read his work. And maybe they will love it. Or maybe they will hate it. I dont know. But I do know that there is a compulsion with some people to bang their head against the wall repeatedly, even though it hurts, because they like it. These are the same kind of people who will read authors they hate, because it gives them someone to yell at.

In the long run, its the a*shole who doesnt deserve any recognition that will get it... because Max is giving it to him. HIS numbers will rise significantly, while Max's may see little, if any, addition in his readership. And any smart publicist will tell the little sh*thead not to respond to Max's response, because Max has the better numbers and you dont wanna send people his way anymore than necessary.

So, while I applaud Max for standing up for himself and I do agree with his position in the matter... I still feel it wasnt in his best interest to respond to what was said.

Queen Eve (#460)

Location: Dimensions at SanguinemDraconis.net
Quote: "Sanity is a gift; given at birth, lessened by maturity, and gone from us by the age of reason. --Kestral Lei"
Posted: 3357 days ago

**much they dislike him and how proud they are of MAX...

Pete (#1273)

Location: Variable
Quote: ""One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings""
Posted: 3356 days ago

Someone help....
This thing wont let me comment on the "fear of vigilanties" thread, above. but it works here. What am I failing to understand?

Picto (#64)

Location: United Kingdom
Quote: "Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light? - Maurice Freehill"
Posted: 3356 days ago

Mind games and intellect from Mr. Bunker.

Bring on Round #3.

Steve (#1308)

Location: Indiana
Quote: "blah blah blah blah"
Posted: 3355 days ago

I did a google search on "Upset Publishing." They have no website but I did find out the publisher is a memeber of the Seattle Indie Publishing Group and the only book published is "Wrapped in Gray" by Todd Bunker.

And, in an article on NadaMucho.com a Todd Bunker Bio says he owns Upset Publishing. So he's self published.

So, no one wnated to buy the rights to publish his book so he bought some printing equipment or hooked up with a POD company and published his own book. That ruins his credibility because anyone can publish their OWN book. They don't need outside approval and feed back. His just another psudo-creative type who decided he wanted to be different by being just like everbody else.

Dumb, idiotic, culture-snob wanna be.

Ezra (#1313)

Location: Indiana a few miles from adams house
Quote: ""So I said, Why would i waste my time with a date, when i could just buy you later" - Tony Toon, Jessica Rose Story"
Posted: 3354 days ago

i have never actually bought any of max barrys books but i have read some and i do feel that he is a very good writer

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 3353 days ago

Tues. May 17 2005

NEMISIS(anger intended)!

I have a new blogging nemisis. His name is Tony Quin. Eric is a bad man, but he only spreads rumors about me. I am perfectly okay with that because negative attention is better than no attention.

Tony made it personal by trying to steal my blogging idea to which I thought up in one of my many web design 2 classes with some friends( one of which cannot read or write). I was inspired by max barry and now I am annoyed and unencouraged by other max barry fans. I guess thats life.

Meh...
Sinking further into depression...

Adam

Tony Quin (#1310)

Location: Plymouth -urgh
Quote: "Yoga is NAILS"
Posted: 3353 days ago

Argh! I was just reading this set of comments before I went to bed and I get this!

All I wanted was an answer to my question about boxes and my new jockstrap! Good Lord! I really didn't expect such a response! (And I still haven't had any help with it you know -wearing it inside the pants tends to result in sweat sticking your balls to the plastic.)

In other news, it really did amuse me to see 'Todd' get torn into by mad fans. He really is a bit of an ass! His comment on "Ride the walrus" particularly got my goat -what, he expects an essay on the meaning of life in every post? (I tried "riding the walrus" btw, and just got water up my nose and soap in my ears.)

kitty (#1326)

Location: Upstate NY
Quote: "sweet"
Posted: 3349 days ago

The Unknown Writer didn't even have the cajones to allow comments.

Machine Man subscriber Julie Totsch (#1341)

Location: Racine, WI
Quote: ""The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them." - Robert Frost"
Posted: 3343 days ago

Four things:

First, who the Hell is Todd Bunker? I've never heard of him until the link in your blog to his.

Second, don't like the accusation of you writing about a Google top search. You can't even find my blog on the Internet and I write about Google top searches all the time!

Third, I've read a total of two of your comments pages and you have more than the same 10 readers!

Finally, anyone who does not allow comments on a page is chicken. It is my opinion that blogging should be an interactive activity -- you (Max) write and we (readers) answer. He has chosen to blast someone and not allow other opinions to be posted -- what is up with that?

Peter Wiegand (#119)

Location: Washington, USA
Quote: "Just because it's aimed at a particular market means it's not art?"
Posted: 3343 days ago

I don't know if Todd is still reading these comments, but I wanted to put in my two cents. I picked up Syrup at my local Library after doing a search on "Coca-Cola". I loved the book so much I wanted to make a movie. So I tried to contact Max via the web. I had never heard of Nation States, and now, years later I've never checked out the NS site. I signed up for the blog because I enjoy Max's writing and want to keep up on how his film is going. Best of luck on the film, Max. Todd, get a life.

Jora (#1412)

Location: Cleveland
Posted: 3321 days ago

Just wanted to post to say I went to the guy's website to see what he was about. I read the first chapters for two of his books, and I think he's got one of the worst writing styles I've ever read. Especially in "Wrapped in Grey." What the hell? How did he even get published? And then he goes on to call his book a "minor cult classic" on his website? What a tool.

limey (#1364)

Posted: 3300 days ago

"Still, I was prepared to file it away with all the other things that make no sense, like fat-free chewing gum and Florida,"

Max=brilliant man. Florida doesn't make sense because it doesn't exist.

And don't tell me you've been there! I have too, on vacations, four separate times. That doesn't mean anything.

=D

Bryan Hill (#1563)

Location: New York City
Quote: ""Sometimes I look at a crucifix and I can't help but wonder what artists would have done if Jesus drowned in a lake""
Posted: 3242 days ago

Can I say fuck this guy here?

Fuck this guy, Max.

BH

Elisha (#1577)

Location: Ontario
Quote: "I am on the next page, the next book."
Posted: 3233 days ago

You are quite excellent. This guy is just jealous, I'm sure.
I know I am...

Elisha

Ada Rell (This Girl) (#2463)

Quote: "There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who don't. Tee Hee."
Posted: 2949 days ago

I've counted, and there are more than ten people even in this one comment list.
I hope no one figures out that ten percent of them are just me.
Horror!

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