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on March 8, 2004
If brevity's the soul of wit, this 121-page wheeze is still too long. Smug author thinks it's a laff riot to invert standard advice (single-space your manuscripts, never revise a word, demand $1,000,000 in your query letters . . . are we getting the joke yet?). Soon, even author herself grows bored, starts satirizing romance novels and anything else within her limited reach--in a nonstop, archly overwritten style.
The only valid lesson this book teaches is what it might to be like to be being trapped in an elevator with Dame Edna on speed.
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on January 17, 2001
This book has to be the most cynical look at writing and publishing I've ever devoured. Reading it is like walking blidfolded through a patch of cockleburr--every few lines you wince. Not ready to laugh at yourself, at bestsellers, at writing, at writers, at publishing in general? Then don't open this one. It spares no one and nothing.
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on March 12, 2011
I pity the unpublished writer who fails to read the introduction to this book. It is a satire so don't heed the "advice." I found parts to be very funny, and some not so funny. Actually, I thought it was overwritten. I think it would have been more effective as an essay. There are some insider jokes that probably will sail over the heads of those who are not attuned to the publishing business.
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on November 3, 2011
I'd feel different about this book if it had been clearly labeled a parody. But you can't very well pillory an industry for targeting gullible wannabes immune to listening and do the same thing yourself without being labeled the worst sort of hypocrite.
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on February 2, 2013
No redeeming qualities. This is the only book I've ever thrown away. I don't want anyone else to read this. It's not worth the paper it's printed on. Is it satire? Parody? It's neither. It's not funny, there seems to be some underlying character being implied, a cynical publisher, someone burnt out on the world of publishing, but it misses the mark. It misses many marks. It misses all the marks. One positive note: It will give you courage to write, because anyone can do it better than this. Poorly thought out misguided attempt. Disappointing.
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on October 13, 2011
Some negative reviewers just do not get that this is written with the intention of being satire, plain and simple. It is a fun jab to people who do know about publishing. It cuts to the ribs. There are some truths in it, if you are wise enough to read it as it's intended, so many words of advice that publishers give new writers, only to be ignored, so many hoops to run through, yet again dismissed as not true by some... no wonder this author cut the rug at them! lol If you take offense, then you didn't read it for its intended purpose, to be complete tomfoolery, but if you know about publishing and know the many ins and outs, then you'll get a good laugh for less than a buck.
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on January 18, 2001
I have no idea if this woman even exists, but my God what a nasty book. If this babe is real I pity the poor souls she comes across. There is a lot to make fun of in the publishing world, the writing world, and she makes a grab for all the rings. While not catching them all, she comes close.
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on January 27, 2014
I guess the author thinks of herself as clever in the sharing of what is clearly a great deal of expertise in the field. But this reader for one would much rather have read clear insight. Her notion that sarcasm can better convey the ideas is novel, sure. But it leaves a confused footprint on what is the best approach or mindset to tackling the real challenge of professional writing.
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on August 11, 2002
Written by literary agent Madelyne Simone Rovenhauer, with the assistance of D.W. St. John, The Nasty Little Writing Book is a very special guide to writing your own book and getting published - with a dark, satirical twist. Not all of its sometimes cynical advice is meant to be taken literally; many an aspiring or published author will savor a well-earned chuckle from the tongue-in-cheek suggestions. Parody assertions such as that publishers do not remainder books before their time, or that the author bears no responsibility for publicity, are not to be read at face value! At the same time, many insider "dirty little secrets" in the New York dominated publishing industry are exposed for all the world to see, from an expose on sentence sophistry to writing crises as a ploy. Highly recommended as leisure reading for the experienced writer looking to enjoy a good (albeit occassionally rueful) laugh, The Nasty Little Writing Book should be required reading for anyone who aspires to be a "best selling" published author from one of the major publishing houses.
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on April 20, 2011
As a former librarian and recovering aspiring fiction writer, I've read---or tried to read---hundreds of "how to write a novel" books, most of which are not worth the time to read.

This is the book I've been waiting for all these years: a tongue-in-cheek spoof of books that are, by and large, much too serious and pedantic for their own---and the reader's---good.

If you hold editors, agents and successful writers in as high regard as they seem to hold themselves, you may want to pass this one up, as it is sure to raise your blood pressure. Dame Rovenhauer is not at all bashful about puncturing the pretensions of a pompous industry, and she does it with panache.
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