"The Book With No Name" by Anonymous

"Needs A Good Proofreader"
Score: 3/5

The Book With No Name: Anonymous: Books

ISBN: 1843172836
ISBN-13: 9781843172833

Well, here's an 'internet phenomenon' that passed me by.  I'd never heard of this book until SWMBO passed it along.

Apparently I'm just an out-of-touch old crusty, because as well as its own web site, it has a MySpace page (I still don't have one of 'em, and I don't plan on getting one).

It started out as a self-published book on Lulu.com, before getting a real publishing deal and going mass-market.  All of which is irrelevant, but will either give you a warm, tingly stick-it-to-the-man feeling or dear-lord-get-me-a-proofreader palpitations.

I thought it was pretty good.  It was very readable, easy when compared with the book I read just before it, and it does have some nice scene-setting in it.  Wikipedia says it's reminiscent of a Tarantino or Rodriguez film (I think they mean Once Upon A Time In Mexico rather than Spy Kids), and I suppose that's true but it reminded me more of a Robert Rankin book set in a pseudo-Mexican village.

If you were to take Rankin's love of all things Brentford, and transplant it to a hot desert location in the Americas, and add a lot more violence and death, you'd be pretty close to this book.

Speaking of geography, I have no idea any more where the book is set.  I thought Santa Mondega was a fictional place supposed to be in the U.S., somewhere around the Texas/Mexico border.  We'd never heard of it because it's a special place that doesn't appear on maps etc.  Plus, a U.S. special agent is sent there to investigate.

This PR draft (sorry - PDF download) says it's in South America.  I didn't get that at all.

Well, it doesn't make a great deal of difference.

One problem I did have was that sometimes it was impossible to keep track of the dialogue.  I'd love to have an example to put here, but I couldn't find the one I was looking for and I'm buggered if I'm going to read it all again just for you lot.  But there was one bit that was a simple conversation between two people.  It was only five lines.  It should be trivial:

Person A says something

Person B says something

Person A says something

Person B says something

Person A says something

But that didn't work here.  Here it was:

"Something", said Person A.

"Something".

"Something".

"Something".

"Something", said Person B

It's not possible to figure out who said the in-between lines because it can't be one person then the other taking turns since that just doesn't add up.  To make it worse, the 'voices' weren't distinctive enough in this case to demonstrate who was speaking each of the lines.

This is the sort of thing proofreaders catch, so maybe it could use some better editing.  (There was a missing open-quote as well, but I'll let them away with that one because there are problems like that in most books.)  The couple of times I noticed the problem with dialogue were more serious though.

And don't believe the PR bumph - it's not even a little bit scary.

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The book with no name

I believe wikipedia is referring to a film named, "From Dusk till Dawn".


Created by anonymous on Saturday, 5 December 2009 at 3:41AM

I didn't realise Rodriguez directed that!

Aha - you're right. I thought that was what they meant for Tarrantino, but I didn't think Rodriguez had anything to do with it. Apparently he did indeed. I learn something new every day!
Created by OpinionatedGeek on Sunday, 6 December 2009 at 6:15PM (source)

“The Eye Of The Moon” by Anonymous

“Return To Crazy Place” Score: 4/5 The Eye of the Moon Anonymous £7.99 This is a sequel to The Book With No Name that I read a while ago. Unfortunately it was so long ago (and my memory is so failing) that I couldn’t really rem...
Created by anonymous on Wednesday, 30 December 2009 at 6:51PM (source)

not for kids!

I haven't read the book but my 14 year old son came home from the library clutching a copy, saying it had been recommended to him.
It completely freaked him out and he didn't sleep well for a few nights. I need to check with the library if it was in the adult or young adult section!
Created by anonymous on Thursday, 2 December 2010 at 2:28PM