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Hollowstone Paperback – June 2, 2011
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More About the Author
Receiving an academic scholarship, Upkins graduated from the University of TN at Chattanooga with a BA in English. After working as a reporter for a local newspaper for a few years, he moved from Tennessee and relocated to Atlanta, GA where he procured a BFA in media arts & animation from the Art Institute of Atlanta.
In addition to writing, Upkins is also a freelance artist and a digital photographer. His artwork and short stories have appeared in a number of publications, most notably Drops of Crimson. And his audio short, Stranger Than Fiction, can be found at Sniplits.
Upkins regularly critiques and analyzes the representation and portrayal of minorities in comics and media as a regular contributor to Ars Marginal and Prism Comics.
When he's not out saving the world and/or taking it over in his spare time, Upkins's hobbies include drawing, photography, rollerblading, martial arts and of course writing.
Top Customer Reviews
And all of that is leaving out the egregious misogyny on the author's part. The protagonist's friend, meant to be a good character, nonchalantly characterizes two girls as "the biggest skanks in the school", adding that he would know, as he did them both in the hot tub -- completely unaware of the hypocrisy inherent in that confession. And that's not even the worst of it. In the world of Hollowstone, it's commonplace for Music Theory teachers to make crude oral sex jokes about their female wind instrument players.
If that statement was confusing to you, I must clarify: Yes, Upkins seems to be under the impression that Music Theory involves actually playing instruments. Many things in the world of Hollowstone do not work as they do in the real world. For further evidence, one needs only look to the courtroom scene at the end of the novel, in which the judge sees fit to overturn a jury's guilty verdict for no reason other than she felt like it. It's clear that Upkins cast a woman in the role of the judge for this very reason: Women are silly and irrational, after all. They can't see the evidence that's right in front of their noses.
In short, if you're looking for a good piece of fiction, you have better options than Hollowstone. And if you're looking for a piece of terrible writing to make fun of, you still have better options than Hollowstone. Pass this one up if you know what's good for you.
And the characters are great. They're well-rounded and likable and almost enough to keep you reading past the terrible writing. Almost. I'll freely concede that I'm a nitpicker who twitched with every grammatical error and misuse of punctuation, but I kept reading until I was past the halfway mark in the hopes that the plot would carry me through. It didn't. The Satanic-esque evil of the bad guys is ridiculously predictable - place it in the midst of a high school and you have the recipe for a B-grade horror movie - and the writing style is jerky, stopping and starting every few pages. Most of the dialogue is terrible, with run on sentences that would require a breath or two given no punctuation at all detracting from what the characters are actually saying.
In short, while the issues of racism and prejudice are handled in a very eye-opening and realistic way, they're the only things that are. Hollowstone reads like a bad nano novel, and no matter how much you may want to enjoy it, the writing just won't let you.
Otherwise, don't waste your time or money.
Mr. Upkins believes all prejudices gay men and men of color face are the fault of white women (and women in general, but mostly white women), so it's no wonder he's gotten women bloggers and reviews of his book, Hollowstone, banned under 'copyright infringement' and DMCA notices.
Because people dared to criticize his book for the gender existentialist, sexist piece it is, his sycophants have commented with all kinds of comments, including rape trolling. His false, manipulative whining led to the suspension of entries detailing his history of offensive statements in Livejournal as well. I've been harassed by his sycophants myself, but as a woman of color, I have no problems calling out Mr. Upkins on his self-serving hypocrisy.
Mr. Upkins, please don't write another book until you improve your mastery of the English language, as well as acquire some integrity as a writer, because banning negative criticism of your piece by getting women bloggers banned and balancing out negative criticisms by getting your friends and yourself to write five star reviews under sock accounts will spell disaster for your career as a proper writer and a bastion of social justice.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked this story, a lot actually. It had me hooked with the first scene when you get a glimpse of a ghost, and then continues to deliver with drama, action, suspense, character... Read morePublished on March 28, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I put this book in my shopping cart because of TEH DRAMA on the internet, then forgot about it for, like, six months. Read morePublished on December 17, 2011 by Michelle
Engaging story, interesting characters, spooky plot elements, and LGBTQ characters treated like real people - this is exactly the sort of story I would have loved to see when I was... Read morePublished on October 24, 2011 by L. Parker
The worst thing I can say about this is that it reads more like two sequential novellas than one novel. Read morePublished on September 28, 2011 by Beth QQQ
(Edit: I'm reviewing the digital Kindle version, not the paperback. I'm not sure how to change that on Amazon reviews. Read morePublished on September 12, 2011 by Brandy Alexander
Some of the other reviews, well, take them with a pinch of salt. I'm sure I don't understand the mentality of people who give money to a person they hate by buying his book. Read morePublished on September 8, 2011 by Lisa M. Harrison
Good first effort. Author trys hard to combine several genres--supernatural, straight mystery and young adult and mostly succeeds. Read morePublished on September 3, 2011 by springfield40
Some authors write books while others give birth to them.
Mr. Dennis Upkins is the father of one such literary work, and he should be quite... Read more
I started out very skeptical of this book. If you look at some of the other reviews, you'd see why. Plus, skepticism is my default state. Read morePublished on August 21, 2011 by R. Taylor