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Too Far Paperback – 2010

2.8 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Outside Reading; English Language edition (2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097188014X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971880146
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,361,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I got to page 41 before I realized that I could better serve my time by watching ice melt. I noticed a few things while reading: For one, the author loves his trees/plants. You'll spend a lot of time reading about how trees look; description doesn't particularly bother me in books (I like Herman Melville and Hemingway) but the author includes description with the grace of a limping duck-billed platypus. Most of his sentences would be translated as, "The kids were doing something AND THE TREES WERE THERE AND THEY WERE IMPORTANT AND INTERESTING."

The grammar is iffy on a regular basis. The author doesn't have any egregious errors (he seems to be hip with the whole noun/verb stuff) but his commas are suspect, and sentences are often written awkwardly.

I suppose to summarize, the content (actual plot) of the book was eh-whatever, but I was unable to continue because the writing style was pure dreck.

I'll give it this: the cover is very cool. Kudos, cover-guy.
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Format: Paperback
"Too Far" is a perfect title for this piece of flotsam. The literary community would be best served by Mr. Shapero having his misguided fingers shot full of lidocain in a last gasp effort to numb the pain he has inflicted on those unfortunate readers who were beneficiary to this most recent free book. Please ... please ... do the world a favor. Find a new hobby. Away from the keyboard. One that requires even less thought. Where incomplete sentences are tolerated. Take your darn plants with you.
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Format: Hardcover
OK, here's the real story. This guy Rich Shapiro has a unique vision, at least in his own head, and he will stop at nothing to shove it in the world's face.

The world is full of terrible authors and musicians who want to be heard. The difference here is that Mr. Shapiro is independently wealthy and relatively "down" with the facade of marketing. His books, media and iPad apps are beautifully produced, as if money were no object. Even if a single person were to actually buy one of these books, this would be a massive money losing proposition. That's the thing. Despite the hundreds of thousands of copies of this works littering the shelves of thrift stores across the country, I don't think anyone has every actually voluntarily paid money for one of these things, except for the wayward book scouters who have noticed their flash brand new covers and listed them here used on Amazon. Shapiro hires an army of college students to hand out these books for free. His website is full of rather amusing videos of lovely college coeds trying not to giggle as they pretend to be engrossed in his multimedia experience.

Here's the thing. I get what he's trying to do. He saw some amazing stuff on some amazing Acid trips, and he wants to share it with the world. His books shift through various states of consciousness. That's nice, but you need to be a way better writer and musician to pull this off. This is the problem with having money. People will always show up to tell you that your are a genius. There is no feedback loop.

Here's my suggestion. Go out and find other authors and musicians who need to be heard, and promote their work.

I will say "Too Far" is ever so slighly less cringeworthy than Wild Animus: A Novel
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Format: Hardcover
This book is probably more geared for the 9-13 year old crowd (although I don't think this was the author's intention). The descriptions of the scenery and people were flowery and poetic and nice at first, but grew tiresome and after about 50 pages of that with little plot development and a sophomoric feel I put the book down. The characters didn't seem real to me either. I don't think the author actually remembers being 6 years old (understandable since he is an order of magnitude older)or knows any kids because no 6 year old on earth would ever act so romantic and become so enamored. Six year olds are silly and fickle and boys and girls think each other have cooties. I tried to imagine the characters were more like 13 years old so that their behavior would make sense, but then they would say something a stupid 6 year old would say and it would ruin it. But in the long run the plot wasn't interesting enough to deal with any of that.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Almost three years ago, I won a copy of the book in a giveaway, but I put off reading it because it generally has very poor reviews. (Averaging 2.8 and change on both Amazon and Goodreads.)

After reading the book and a number of those poor reviews, I think I have an explanation. I notice that an awful lot of those reviewers state that they had been given a copy of the book for free on their college campus. Now, I don't know Shapero and I'm hypothesizing, but this seems to have been one of Shapero's marketing techniques.

I can see why he might have gone that route. This is a book that speaks in symbolism and says a lot with what isn't said. And I can follow the logic that a bunch of university students, still immersed in deconstructing the classics and, I don't know, reciting Byronic verse or something might be a good audience for this type of literature. However, it ignores the fact that college campuses are also full of 22-year-old Engineering students, and football scholarship recipients, and any number of students that don't fulfill the description of literati.

I mention all of this because, though I didn't find myself a fan of the book, I think some of the poor reviews can be taken with a grain of salt as having been solicited from the wrong audience. (Not that that makes them less than legitimate, but the overwhelming number of poor reviews could stem from the book only making it into the hands of people who weren't likely to enjoy it.)

Now, why didn't I (a literati at heart) enjoy the book? Because I thought it was overwritten and indulgent on the author's part. As I mentioned, it's all symbolic. The children create a world of their own to deal with the troubles in their lives and much of it mimics those same troubles.
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