Saturday, November 19, 2011

Review: Dead(ish) by Naomi Kramer

In my review of Her Very Special Robot I stated that Ann Jacobs put the AWE in awful, and in this review I'm going to tell you that Naomi Kramer puts the ABYSS in abysmal.  About the only good thing I can say about Dead(ish) it that it gives me the opportunity to use adjectives like boring(ish), hack(ish), pitiful(ish) and useless(ish).  The only other good thing I can say about this short story was that it was in "Free Read" territory, so at least I didn't spend even a few cents on it.  Had I judged this story by its cover I would have said it was cutesy-funny, but the sad reality is that it is not even that.

After being apparently murdered (and I say apparently because this muddled mess is so mired in crap disguised as writing that it's at times hard to tell if a murder ever took place at all, which in the end we learn it didn't) by her boyfriend, Mike, and their gay neighbors, Lazarus and Geordie, Linda enlist the aid of private investigator Trent to help solve the crime (?) and make Mike confess so that it will ruin his life.  (Sound like a teenage plot?  Well it certainly read like one.)  Not a single character in this whole mess is anything other than a pathetic whiner, which only aids in making each and every single one unlikable.  Linda dies after she and Mike engage in a four way with Lazarus and Geordie, which helps make it painfully apparent that not only does Ms. Kramer have no idea of what gay is, but she also clearly cannot distinguish gay from bisexual.  (Though even if she could I doubt it would help.)

Some readers claim to have found the book humorous, yet I only found certain parts laughable, such as this line as Mike describes looking into the mirror after the ghost of his girlfriend has pulled a prank on him by painting him while he was sleeping:

"My hair's blue, and my eyebrows are green, and my skin's orange.  I look like a smurf, a munchkin and an oompa loompa had an orgy and I was their love-child."

The only bit of unintentional humor was this line:

"What the hell is the point?"

Which is exactly what I was wondering from first word to last word.

Plus there's an "Obligatory Shower Scene" which is supposed to be some sort of tease scene which only teased me into believing the story was going to get interesting for about 1/4 of a millisecond.  Nothing happens in the big shower scene.  I mean, really, nothing happens in the big shower scene, which is a pretty good indication to me that Ms. Kramer had no need to ever try her hand at writing erotica.

The entire narrative of this story leaves a great deal to be desired.  It is split into several sections, each devoted to a first person account from a different character, however Ms. Kramer quickly forgets the rule and structure that she established for the story to follow, giving multiple points of view in a first person scene.  The entire thing looks as if it was written in one sitting over a one day period, and if any editing occurred it was only to take care of spelling errors.  There was zero effort and zero imagination put into the writing of this story, and that is the reason I am giving it Zero Stars.  As far as her writing goes, unless she has some intention of improvement I think Ms. Kramer should quit(ish).

Readers of this story on Amazon seem a little split, and miraculously this turd is actually the first in a series.  Dead(ish) has around 80 reviews on it, while its follow ups each have less than ten, which indicates to me that like it or not most people did not feel like bothering to trudge through its two sequels despite the fact they are only 99 Cents.  A majority of reviewers on Barnes & Noble placed the story in the One to Three Star range.  It has a high rating on Smashwords despite the fact that several reviewers did not rate it and only commented.  So it seems that Dead(ish) is apparently for some, but not for all.

You can find Dead(ish) here:

Barnes & Noble:

Lurk(ish) this one up if you not squeam(ish) about reading abysmal stories.

Master Vyle

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