Galley Proof by Eric Arvin
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Everybody has read those books–usually they come with horrendous cover art–that start with an apparent self-ironic scene that tries to justify using a cliché. It's some trope that has been beaten, hit, struck, battered, hammered, trashed, pummelled, and flattened to the ground ages ago. And for a while it works.
The author works his ass off and makes the first person past tense voice of his character sound like something hilarious, something new, refreshing, and witty. Then he crosses the line from a fine comedy to unadulterated spoof and ruins the effect. If you, the reader, are very lucky the narrative still sounds entertaining enough to carry through to the end and lets you finish a book instead of feeding your DNF pile.
If you're very, extremely, exceptionally, not-that-uncommonly-at-all unfortunate, you'll end up with a WTF face and whole lot of wasted hours. Hours of your life that you'll never be able to reclaim. At which point you either decide to move on and give this author a wide berth in the future, or you decide to give something back to the reading community and write a longwinded review that starts with a handful of meta-paragraphs sure to annoy innocent review readers.
Welcome to my life.
This book reads like an autobiography trying to be self-ironic and falling short by miles. It's like the author decided to skip coming up with anything original or fictional and instead document his day-to-day life in the publishing world. Maybe his editor told him to throw in a few outrageous characters and give them the kind of urban legend lives you only hear around the water cooler or wherever the workers go to smoke illicitly. Maybe the author was bored and decided to imitate a handful of his idols–in one book.
Whatever led to the creation and publication of this book, is everything that's wrong with the publishing industry today. This book is unbalanced, tactless, and inane. If it had to be published, why couldn't it be an in-house newsletter to amuse the people who are able to recognise and appreciate the publishing jokes. If it had to be published as a gay romance novel or erotica wannabe, why not write one. If this had to be published at all, why not just do it and NOT market it as something it's not.
This book is mislabelled as a gay romance. It's mislabelled as a romance. There's no romance here. There is simply a string of sex scenes and fuckbuddies without anything resembling a plot.
Also, Arvin went there. He had the ex-editor-fuckbuddy-friend attack-comment on a one star rating-review. How is this any better than the author–still talking about the book characters, just want to make it clear for Goodreads staff–himself commenting on a negative review? Just having it in the book is like condoning bad behavior and I've reached my limit. I would have given this book one star regardless, this just removed any guilt I might have felt.
Had Galley Proof been shelved under general fiction I might be more forgiving to the abrupt style changes and the utter lack of the thin red line that connects it all, but it wasn't and I'm not. If only Arvin had said what he made his character say:
"I have decided it's not worth my time to write nor is it worth her time to read."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.
View all my reviews