Monday, April 18, 2016

How to review "Last Baby Boomer" on amazon (& 14 by those who've praised it)

First of all, you need to buy and read the book.

That’s an obvious prerequisite.

Or is it?

I could give or barter you a copy. Amazon distinguishes those who’ve bought it from them with a “Verified Purchase” notation.

It offers no further designations. It doesn’t say, for instance, “Chris traded a copy of his book for two free puzzles.” Which, in fact, I did. I’m old buddies with beloved Pittsburgh illustrator Jim Mellett of White Mountain Puzzles.

He was kind enough to inquire about obtaining the book and we wound up agreeing on a friendly exchange. 

And, man, I shrewdly got the better end of that deal. The whole family is enjoying assembling a Mellett Broadway tribute puzzle on the dining room table — and it’s ours forever. The IRS can’t touch it.

I’m gleeful anytime I can swap a book for something that’s completely off the books.

I intend to write about the joy of puzzles tomorrow. 

Or you could shoplift. Amazon won’t know.

I once had a bold woman, a fellow author, shoplift a copy from me when we were both doing a book signing at an Akron Barnes & Noble. She was taken with my “Use All The Crayons!” and proposed a trade, my self-improvement book for hers.

Hers didn’t appeal to me, but the situation spared me from the need to be rude.

“Afraid we can’t do that,” I said. “These aren’t our copies. These are store stock.”

Yet, she was undeterred. As she prepared to leave she stopped by my table for parting salutations. We shared friendly sentiments and then, just like that, she picked up a copy of my book and scooted out the door.

I so admired her audacity, I didn’t think to yank the fire alarm or heave a day-old biscotti at her head.

In the end, I did nothing.

The crayons book, in fact, has many elements about righteous living so maybe she changed her larcenous ways. But who knows? Maybe she ignored those parts and embraced only the items that talk about how much fun it is to get drunk with friends.

We’ll never know.

Any fair review does requires you at least read the book.

I’m joking!

I’m one of those authors with zero interest in “fair” reviews, preferring just favorable reviews.

So if you’re adept at immoral misbehavior, you’re among my ideal readers. It’d help if you’re good at computer hacking.

I’d love someone to sign onto amazon and say they’re Oprah Winfrey and they “Love! Love! Love! ‘The Last Baby Boomer!’”

I’d have to think that’d spike sales.

My book’s earned 10 actual reviews in the past month. I think that’s pretty good for a self-published book that started off with no word of mouth and even less marketing.

They say reviews help sales.

Whether or not they do, I know for sure they at least help me.

I cherish each one. It helps that they all gush (10 of the 14 are five stars; the remainder 4).

I ask everyone who reads it to please post a review. And you can be honest.

It can be as simple as: “I liked this book!”

Or you can elaborate in quirky ways: “I liked this book. It smells nice!”

I think some people feel pressure to be clever and that they’ll be judged badly if they write something stupid.

I know the feeling. Why do you think it took me 15 years to publish the stupid thing?

I guess what I’m trying to say is if you like the book, shout it to the whole world.

And if you don’t, please just keep it to yourself.

Here are the blurb summaries of “Last Baby Boomer” amazon reviews . . .

• Hilarious satire, absurd humor that pokes fun at everything. Clever plot, and Rodell keeps it going at a very fast pace with one hilarious observation after another. The book had me laughing out loud the whole way through, yet there were a number of very profound messages. McCrae is so likable and we can all find ourselves identifying in at least one minute of his very long life. I saw myself in the book many times, either as the wise and wiseass McCrae, or as one of the targets of his and Rodell's wickedly funny humor. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves satire. (Hollywood please note: It would make a great movie starring Bill Murray as McCrae.) 5-stars

• Rodell is a Vonnegut for 2016. I really can't say enough good things about this book. Rodell is capable of switching from ribald joke telling to pithy pathos often from paragraph to paragraph. I literally laughed out loud and discovered tears welling up in my eyes at various points. It's really an incredible work of artistic humor writing. Can't recommend it enough. 5-stars

• I was laughing so hard throughout this book and it has the perfect mixture of funny and serious to give a great story that has lots of humor added to it. Rodell's writing is so perfectly written because it mixes humor with a real story. I read the book in just a few days because I could not keep my hands off of it. I loved the book so much that everyone around me started buying it as well and I cannot wait to see what comes next from him. 5-stars

• If you’re familiar with Chris’s last book, or his blog, you’ll see his trademark humor throughout this book. In fact, Marty McCrae is the (really old) embodiment of the living-a-colorful-life/using-all-the-crayons principle. He’s lived a long, colorful life, seen the world change, and he has quite a bit to say about it. Lest I give you the idea this is a serious, philosophical book, I should mention that in this future world, women are stricken by the “Boobonic Plague” which gives women with enhanced breasts enhanced intelligence.  The bottom-line is that Chris is running with his idea a colorful life being the key to happiness, and he’s morphed that into this new satirical novel. This new book is humorous, but also insightful. 5-stars

• Fantastic premise! A satiric, Kurt Vonnegut-ish kind of novel had me laughing out loud. Rodell has a gift for the absurd as well as great turns of phrases. He also shows, through humor, some raw truths about us boomers 5-stars

• Baby Boomer is pure Rodell, but I found myself thinking of Dave Barry and Carl Hiaasen, the only two guys who look like they're having as much fun writing as Rodell. 4-stars

• The Last Baby Boomer is an uproarious meditation on life—and like life itself, there are bittersweet moments softened only by our ability to laugh at some random absurdity. And there is a central tragedy that is slowly revealed, which, like so much in life, leaves only questions. The Last Baby Boomer is a droll sketch of our media- and youth-obsessed culture, one that’ll have you laughing out loud between chuckles (and maybe the occasional pun-induced groan—though like Rodell I’ve never met a pun I wouldn’t take home to meet my folks). It wouldn’t surprise me if something like Marty’s ghoul pool does happen in a couple of decades—I just hope they give Rodell credit (and a big check). 5-stars

• The Last Baby Boomer is a humorous, yet insightful, look into the foibles of the baby boomer generation. Through all of Marty's travails a hopefulness and humanity emerges that will be familiar to anyone who has read Rodell. I would definitely recommend this book. 5-stars

• I really enjoyed the book. I liked the protagonist, Marty and the way he looked at life. The premise was very believable, based on current trends in the U.S.. There were some parts dragged a little, and the ending was slightly contrived, but neither point takes away from the overall enjoyment of the book. I would recommend this book to everyone. A fun ride. 4-stars

• Even if you didn’t know Chris Rodell once wrote for the National Enquirer, the premise of “The Last Baby Boomer: The Story of the Ultimate Ghoul Pool” might give you a clue. From the Boobonic Plague, described early on, to the pop-tab pill at the end, the book wittily describes the circus that surrounds 118-year-old Marty McCrae, the last surviving Baby Boomer. Suspend reality and enjoy laugh-out-loud moments with this book. 5-stars

• A word about typos. An eagle-eyed English teacher recently read Chris's book and counted 26. That's right, 26 from among 65,981 words. If Chris Rodell was a baseball player he'd be batting .9996, My kind of humor. There is no more Kurt Vonnegut or Joe Heller for me to read …But there is Rodell. Buy the book. Read. See for yourself. 5-stars

• I picked up this book because I enjoyed his blog "8 days to Amish" so much. And this definitely fell in line the same kind of humor and wit as he has always brought forth in the past. A really fun and intriguing read. 5-stars

• Bad news first: typos threw me a little. Good news: We read this book for our book club and it was well-received. The premise is funny and very believable. It's a quick read with surprising twists. Because it is light and easy to read, it makes a great vacation book or a good way to spend a rainy day. There's also depth in the story that makes it a rich experience. 4-stars

• We had the pleasure of discussing the book with the author at our book club! Wonderful experience. Great summer read for the beach! 5-stars

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