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Fondling Your Muse: Infallible Advice From a Published Author to the Writerly Aspirant Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; First Edition edition (September 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582973482
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582973487
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,488,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Warner is a successful editor of many books and has published many popular novels with his unique writing ability.

More About the Author

John Warner is an author of humor, fiction, and non-fiction, a longtime editor of McSweeney's Internet Tendency and a teacher, currently at College of Charleston. His novel, The Funny Man, was named a top debut fiction title by the Daily Beast. His writing advice parody, Fondling Your Muse: Infallible Advice from a Published Author to the Writerly Aspirant was a BookSense pick and My First Presidentiary: A Scrapbook of George W. Bush (co-authored with Kevin Guilfoile) was a number one Washington Post bestseller. He is a co-color commentator for The Morning News Tournament of Books and writes a weekly column for the Chicago Tribune's Printers Row book supplement as his alter ego, The Biblioracle.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By TheCafeWriter VINE VOICE on October 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book dishes up the same writing old writing advice in a fresh, funny, and original way. For example, instead of saying the familiar "Turn off the TV," he enthusiastically suggests TiVo as a time management tool. He also responds to Stephen King's writing suggestions such as "Remove every extraneous word." His response: "Idea. Good. This one." Even if you already know all this, "Fondling Your Muse" is still insightful, ironic, and highly entertaining. You won't find any writing exercises or basic, dry definitions of omniscient point of view, or recommendations to keep a journal, but at the very least, it's inspiring stuff.

(Caution: if you're a fan of Ann Coulter or certain tax cuts, this book may not be for you.)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chris on December 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Being a writer,I bought this book thinking it would give me pointers and help with the epiphanies that writers sometimes get if they're lucky. It DOES give pointers (some of them a poke in the eye)and is a real good book to sit down and enjoy. It is so funny that I recommend wearing Depends and bracing your ribs with a pillow before you start reading. Yes, it's that good. THis is the funniest book on writing I've found yet (and I am a biblophile). I recommend this book even if you are not a writer or never have given it any thought. You'll enjoy it anyway.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By James Yeh on February 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
John Warner's Fondling Your Muse is an uncommonly funny and clever book. Written by the editor of McSweeney's Internet Tendency, this book is not a straight-ahead 12-step program on how to become a writer. If you couldn't tell that from the tone of the title, you probably aren't going to enjoy the book. That said, if you did "get" it, this book will hit the funny bone often and directly, leaving your elbow feeling numb and tingly (in a good way).

The book often made me laugh out loud. Its tone, to over-generalize, is basically an ironic smarty-pants meets silly grade schooler (which, as can be expected, quite similar to that of McSweeney's Internet Tendency). What I liked best about the book is that, while taking numerous jabs at anyone from Oprah, to Stephen King, to John Updike, to Gee Dubya, to Hillary Clinton, Warner never seems snarky or mean. The tone remains playful as Warner's tongue is held firmly in cheek, and the result in a book that is pretty much delightful in its entirety. As one who Warner would deem "writerly aspirant", I found the book to be dead-on when it comes to characterizing the various writer stereotypes, conversations, and mindsets. This is the perfect gift for your friend who dreams of writing, yet is able to take her/himself not-so seriously. Even those who aren't planning on writing the Great American Novel or publishing volumes of their nature poetry can, I think, appreciate this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. Gray on December 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely loved this book! It is possibly the best writing book I've yet to read. I started laughing right at the dedication and kept on until the last page. Finally someone who's not afraid to make fun of writing, which is, by far, scarier than telling a tatooed biker that his motorcycle reminds you of your kid sister's tricycle. It's a must read for anyone who may think that writing is only a cut-and-dry uphill struggle. (Pick up "Robert's Rules of Writing" while you're at it.)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Emily Macdonald on October 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As a writerly aspirant, I found this book to be both oddly helpful, and a must-buy.

It was oddly helpful in a way not unlike when you're reading a gut-bustingly funny book while at the same time eating a bowl of Friendly's "Forbidden Chocolate Explosion" ice cream, and suddenly all of the ice cream comes spurting out of your nose because you just came upon the most hilarious passage you've ever read, and then you realize how "a propos" the name of the ice cream is, and you clean yourself up and go to the store because that was the last of the ice cream, and you're searching the frozen food section while trying to ignore the awkward-yet-gawking looks you've been receiving from the other shoppers, and an acquaintance comes up to you and you say hi, and he asks how it's going and what that crusty brown spot is on your left cheek, and you're like "Crusty brown spot? What crusty brown spot?", and he shuffles his feet on the linoleum and coughs in an unconvincing manner and makes a hasty exit, and you start getting an uncomfortable feeling and rush to the bathroom, but you don't know where it is so you ask the stock guy in aisle 3, and he refuses to make eye contact while pointing you in the approximate direction, and you finally get in there and see your flourescently-lit reflection in the mirror and you're all "Oh my god! I've got Friendly's 'Forbidden Chocolate Explosion' on my face! Thank goodness somebody told me! That could have been really embarrassing!"

This book was a must-buy because a few weeks ago (I think it was a Tuesday), two thugs (who later confessed to having been hired by the author) accosted me in an alleyway and shoved a copy of "Fondling Your Muse" at me while grunting, "Must buy. Must buy." They were wearing trenchcoats, so...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lesly Auerbach on April 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
First, I caution those looking for more in-depth advice on actually writing a decent novel to choose a more serious, mainstream tome--this ain't it! :)

What a way to turn the writing advice genre on its head. While there IS real advice to be found in John Warner's "Fondling Your Muse," it's just buried in the folds of all that humor. I had to keep reminding myself to pay attention between the lines to information I was reading for. This is witty as hell, tongue-in-cheek, hilarious (as the title would suggest, of course). And I hope no one takes all of Warner's suggestions seriously--I can see the lawsuits now!

Read Warner for his humor, for his in-sight into how the book world "really" works, for his dripping wit and sarcasm--it's worth the chuckles and outright laughter. "Fondling Your Muse" is the ideal antidote I needed to counteract the sturm-und-drang self-imposed reading list I've been working through lately. Awesome stuff!
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