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Stories from a Moron: Real Stories Rejected by Real Magazines Hardcover – November 25, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
This author's name must strike terror in the souls of editors across the country: after all, his hobby is writing purposefully mediocre stories and submitting them to the wrong magazines. When an editor tells Broth that his material isn't suitable, Broth peppers his original story with mentions of whatever the magazine's focus happens to be, bolds and underlines them, and sends the piece back. As one editor writes to Broth, "I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry...you just wasted your money and my time." It's pretty funny at first, and we laugh along with the bemused Fencers' Quarterly editor. But what about the painfully earnest group at the helm of an Amish magazine and the countless busy editors of very specific publications (Rug Hooking, I Love Cats Magazine, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists) who are being asked to read such inanities? Most editors try to give Broth some kind of guidance the first time he sends them his inappropriate-occasionally sordid, often boring-stories. Soon it seems as if we're watching Broth thumb his nose at people trying to help him, and eventually we must wonder what else he might have been able to accomplish with the amount of effort he put into confusing and frustrating editors. He might have improved his writing, for example. But for a book of one-note gags, this does offer some good laughs.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A poor man's John Updike (albeit less prolific) wrapped in the sardonic cloak of Seinfeld creator Larry David (and how fitting it is that Jerry Seinfeld provides the introduction), Broth presents a set of stories bracketed by reprinted rejection letters from irate editors, and no wonder. Broth chose to submit to magazines wholly ill suited for his work. For instance, he sends "New Clothesline"--a spry look at neighborly relations regarding dirty clothes being hung between windows--to Fencers Quarterly Magazine. In response, the editor in chief writes, "Sorry . . . we publish material related to the sport of fencing." So Broth submits a rewrite that includes only a very brief mention of fencing and several inserted pictures from the magazine. Naturally, the editor is furious. Broth launches similar attacks on a dozen other inappropriate magazines, and the ensuing dialogues with editors are riotously funny. Given the harsh realities of the publishing world, this book should be mandatory reading for every graduate writing and publishing course. Mark Eleveld
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
He just keeps adding revisions to his already ridiculous story so that it becomes some weird mutant concoction that a magazine editor has no use for. Yet they patiently try and explain that to him. But Ed just keeps going on. Got a story about dirty laundry, sending it to a steamboat cruise company? They say it's not right for them. They're about fun old tyme cruises. Ed adds some steam boating, banjo playing, and good time Mark Twain fun to his dirty laundry story and re-sends it back to the Steamboat Magazine. They patiently explain it's now even more wrong for their readers. Ed then sends that mess to an Exterminator Magazine. They write him back & say they're a magazine that goes to exterminators and their readers want bug spray info, not steam boating or dirty laundry. Ed adds some exterminating and bug squishing to the story and resends it to the Exterminator Magazine. And so on and so on...
This is a hilarious exchange of stories and letters back and forth between smaller magazines and a moron. A true comedy gem. Who is Ed Broth? This book is sensational!
It's been a rough year for me and I really needed a book like this! Thanks Ed Broth and Jerry Seinfeld!
Please keep writing books like this.
A perscription to cure depression and bad moods.