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The Force is Middling in this One: And Other Ruminations from the Outskirts of the Empire [Kindle Edition]

Robert Kroese
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
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  • Length: 310 pages
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Book Description

What happens to a kid who isn't quite good enough with the force to be a Jedi? What is it like to live in the worst city in the United States? If we aren't allowed to test shampoo on monkeys, how will we ever know if our monkeys are clean?

The answers to these and other questions can be found in The Force is Middling in this One, a raucous romp through the mind of author, software developer and gopher exterminator Robert Kroese.

Laboriously compiled from three years of blog posts from, this collection covers topics as varied as the Incredible Hulk, perpetual motion machines and Satanism, and is sure to keep you running back to the bathroom for more. In fact, we've even included (on page 187*) a laminated card that reads: PLEASE EXCUSE MY FREQUENT TRIPS TO THE BATHROOM AS I HAVE A SEVERE BOWEL AND/OR URINARY TRACT CONDITION. This will allow you to read in peace without having to face embarrassing questions from your family and friends.
*If your card is missing, please check all of the other pages. If you still don't find it, address the proprietor of the book shop sternly as follows: "SIR OR MADAM: I AM SHOCKED TO FIND THAT THIS BOOK CONTAINS NO CARD INDICATING THAT I HAVE A SEVERE BOWEL AND/OR URINARY TRACT CONDITION. WHAT, SIR OR MADAM, ARE YOU TRYING TO PULL, EXACTLY?" If you are still unable to get satisfaction, please purchase a copy of the author's critically acclaimed, bestselling novel Mercury Falls. The card is on page 119. WE PROMISE.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Kroese is a writer and software developer who lives in Ripon, California. He has also written a novel, MERCURY FALLS.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3263 KB
  • Print Length: 310 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: St. Culain Press (July 25, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003XF1F3K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,173 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Force is strong in "The Force is Middling" September 12, 2010
I don't know about anyone else, but I don't read newspapers for anything but the headlines anymore. The comics, the editorials, the columns, even the reviews are just subpar compared to what you can find on blogs.

A good example of that: Robert Kroese, who created a blog of his own that added a twist of the surreal to everyday occurrences. "The Force is Middling in this One: And Other Ruminations from the Outskirts of the Empire" is sort of a best-of-blog compilation of Kroese' dry, slightly frazzled recountings of Real Life.

As Kroese, aka "Diesel," recounts in the prologue, he started up a blog after an ill-fated stint on myspace, and later published a short book collecting his best "sock drawer" and "manicdote" posts (yes, you WILL have to read the book to understand! Do not bother the Great One with questions!). And after writing his successful novel Mercury Falls, he apparently decided to clean up the collection he had already released and rerelease it.

The result: "The Force Is Middling In This One." Got that? Good.

As for what's in it: Kroese/Diesel writes a series of mini-essays that mostly focus on the absurd side of life: hardware stores, vermin, Modesto California (aka Tatooine), disastrous vehicles and driving, "quilting in a beach house," radio shows, landfills, religion, science, technology, bumper stickers, scifi/fantasy, politically correct euphemisms and attitudes, pop culture (comic books, Barnes & Noble, "Terminator"), and countless Star Wars contemplations ("As you can see from my enclosed resume, I graduated with a 3.2 GPA and I scored a 1242 on the Force Assessment Test").
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely hilarious moments August 27, 2010
"The Force Is Middling in this One" is a compilation of blog entries featuring the random musings and observations of Robert "Diesel" Kroese. Real-life anecdotes, social and political commentary, and pure fantasy are mingled together. He takes on building inspectors, motorcyclists, home improvement employees, gophers, hotel rooms, chair thieves, superheroes, group learning, smileys, a certain painter of luminescence (to avoid any inappropriate trademark usage), and many others. The humor ranges from droll to absurd - omitting very little in between.

Any reader will likely find plenty to laugh about in TFIMITO due to the widely varied humor and subject matter. Of course the flip side of that coin is that some of the content will almost necessarily fall flat as well.

I would prefer something a little more thematic or cohesive in book form, but there is no denying that the author has a delightful sense of humor which he uses to good effect here. There were numerous occasions where I literally laughed aloud. What more could we ask of Robert Kroese, except perhaps that he show a little kindness to gophers?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Robert Kroese (Mercury Falls) is probably an acquired taste. But since I would say the same thing about Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip and author of a book on his blog musings (Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!: Cartoonist Explains Cloning, Blouse Monsters, Voting Machines, Romance, Monkey Gods, How to Avoid Being Mistaken for a Rodent, and More), he's in good company.

[I mention Adams' book because if you pick out one of the chapters randomly, chances are you wouldn't be able to tell who wrote it, Adams or Kroese. Except for the chapters about being a millionaire, of course.]

Would you enjoy Kroese's book if you had never watched a chapter of the Star Wars saga, or read Dune, or dozens of other "geeky required reading" stories? I'm not sure. But of the tens of thousands of active bloggers out there, it's the one who helps you interpret the zaniness of the world that you tend to follow on a regular basis. Kroese may just flip your switch.

"Generally, however, when I really want to learn something I seek out an expert in that field and attempt to learn by osmosis. Literally, I try to suck knowledge out of the expert's brain by putting my brain right next to theirs. When that fails (as it has every time so far), I hit the expert on the head with a hammer and move on to something else" (p. 25). I've tried this (not the hammer part), but have always tried it with keeping books nearby... print osmosis. It hasn't worked either, but all the books help in insulating the house.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blog of a Relatively Boring (but Funny) Person August 16, 2010
By e
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I pretty much don't read blogs, well except for one that my friend writes, because he's my friend. I don't think I would have found it or read it otherwise. Occasionally people send me links to blog articles, which may be interesting or fun, but tend to be the exception that proves the rule that most blogs are repetitions of the inanities of a relatively boring person's life.

Robert Kroese, or Diesel, as he insists others call him, without the street cred to back it up, incidentally, is probably also a relatively boring person. That, however, doesn't get in the way of his writing clever vignettes (which I was sure I was going to misspell, but my spellchecker add-on hasn't put an accusatory red squiggle underneath, so it must be okay, or I've used a word so completely out of context, but spelled it properly that it just glassed over it. Someone needs to invent a contextchecker, but one better than MSWord's, that won't just damn listen to me when I yell at it, screaming, "But I like expressing myself in passive voice you stupid piece of crap!" But I digress. A lot.)

So, clever vignettes. Slices of life that would make Studs Terkel green with envy. No, he was not The Hulk's second cousin. You have Wikipedia. Look him up. *ahem* Slices that run the gamut from unrealistic to less than realistic, but told in a way that underlines the commonalities of human experience, particularly that we all, regardless of IQ, have to deal with egregiously stupid people.

Thank you BobRobDiesel, for making me laugh a lot, and for stealing my repeated joke about ripping tags off you-know-whats, which I'm pretty sure I stole from some 1970s commedian, which is probably where you got that too ...

I might even visit your blog on occasion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read
This is just a fun, light-hearted book, as one would think based on the title. I don't mean that disparagingly; this isn't an epic nor does it presume to be. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Richard Collier
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good read. interesting.
Published 7 months ago by Steven Brem
5.0 out of 5 stars BOOK
I have not had a chance to sit down and read this book yet but I plan to read it soon.
Published 11 months ago by Beth Alderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good for a collection of blog posts
Overall, this is pretty funny, but tends to be somewhat disjointed. The Kindle edition is also marred by inline inclusions that aren't clearly delimited from the main text.
Published 13 months ago by Eric Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Stinkin' Funny!
This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. It started as a blog online that was turned into a book. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Sue Eckhardt
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't catch my attention
Unfortunately, the author couldn't hold my attention although the premise was a good one. I never finished the book and frankly forgot I still owned it. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny stories.
A good collection of anecdotes. Very funny and relatable. Definitely a good read for the nerd in all of us.
Published 15 months ago by Jay
1.0 out of 5 stars its ok
didn't care for it just couldt get into the story line sorry it was well written just not my cup of tea
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars laugh out loud
one of the funniest books I have read in some time. Author has a bit of a dirty-mouth (typewriter) problem though
Published 16 months ago by bigfoot
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!
It's a mish-mash of thoughtful, insightful and hilarious tidbits compiled into one book by an author. Me personally, I found it hilarious and enjoyed it thoroughly. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Gingerdanger
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More About the Author

Robert Kroese's sense of irony was honed growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan - home of the Amway Corporation and the Gerald R. Ford Museum, and the first city in the United States to fluoridate its water supply. In second grade, he wrote his first novel, the saga of Captain Bill and his spaceship Thee Eagle. This turned out to be the high point of his academic career. After barely graduating from Calvin College in 1992 with a philosophy degree, he was fired from a variety of jobs before moving to California, where he stumbled into software development. As this job required neither punctuality nor a sense of direction, he excelled at it. In 2009, he called upon his extensive knowledge of useless information and love of explosions to write his first novel, Mercury Falls. Since then, he has three more books in the Mercury series; a humorous epic fantasy, Disenchanted; and a quantum physics noir thriller, Schrodinger's Gat. His latest book is Starship Grifters.


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