I'm not being facetious
Let me start by saying that I am completely in love with everyone's 5 star reviews! No joke. The reviews are amazing. What I'm about to say is in no way shape or form telling my reader that I like 1 star reviews.
But I love this one.
Because this reviewer has given me the opportunity to address every single sentence, the reason for writing the book, and shows me there are people out there brave enough to speak their mind. Bravo!
I want to cheer this reader for their review because they didn't just one-star and leave it at that. They gave me feedback. They also warned of SPOILERS so I appreciate that.
This reader has in no way offended me, nor am I angry. It's as I said, this review gives me the points I wanted to make in the book that obviously didn't come through for this reviewer.
Let me be clear. I love all of the 4 & 5 star reviews. Even the 3 stars have their own place in my heart. Also, insta-love is something most either hate or love. No in-between. Mostly.
You guys get it. You guys understand my main character. But there are going to be some people that totally don't. That would be this one star reviewer. So I get to show this break down because the book is probably not direct enough for them. As they say, where there's one, there are hundred.
My parts are in black bold. The Reviewer's parts are in white. Which I'm sure they'll appreciate.
Yep, I do that too. Sometimes a book just doesn't mesh with me. Thank you for getting that far.
I don’t understand the positive reviews on this book, I swear. I think the MC is the most openly homophobic MC I have ever encountered.
That was kinna the point of Dan. I was going for that and now that I have the most openly homophobic MC ever encountered. I take that award on my shelf! As long as you ignore any episode of Seinfeld, or Friends, Or any movie/TV show in the 80's, I totally own it. WOOT! Not sure I can rise any higher!!
Not only is he homophobic but he’s also aggressive, unpleasant, irresponsible, a felon (always breaking the laws on the road (he’s a truck driver): driving without license, speeding, trying to bribe left and right.
I believe Jesus said it best. "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." So, I have to wonder, is Dan a mirror for this reader? Hmmm. I mean speeding? That's one of the complaints LOL!! That means this reviewer must have a spotless record, and has never done anything wrong. Like... has never taken a pen from work, always tells the truth, white lies don't fall from this reviewers mouth. Bribing left and right, I'm laughing. This reviewer is so saintly, they don't ever try to persuade a friend to help them when they're in a jam. I just can't buy into that.
Please note that residents who are caught driving without a valid license for the first time can face a fine of up to $200. If you're caught violating this law for a second time, within a year, it becomes a misdemeanor with an additional fine that can range between $25 and $200. The penalty for commercial driving without a CDL is: A misdemeanor conviction. MISDEMEANOR. Dan, my main character, is not a felon.
Dear lord, this reader has got to be Mother Teresa's reincarnation. I did not know being aggressive, or unpleasant were crimes. But apparently when one is mad, grasping for straws is natural. I've got to get this reviewers take on Walter White!
If trying to provide for a family, getting the job done in a timely manner, being there for his daughter, killing himself over deadlines is irresponsible, that just means this reviewer probably wants perfect. Someone without flaws. Someone fake. Or someone that doesn't exist.
I feel sorry for this reviewer. They won't ever get to know themselves or the person they are with because of such high expectations. One can't help but get closed off with this type of mentality.
I wouldn’t even want him as a neighbor, much less as a love interest in a romance book.
I have lived all over the USA from New York to California. In the bluest state that ever blued, to the reddest state that ever red. I have travelled all over the world. I have to tell you that it's pretty good odds that you have a Dan as a neighbor.
California was the worst. At least in NYC they stab you in the front. The least racist place I've been was a red state (gasp! Say it isn't so!) You will find people like Dan in the least place you expect.
I feel so bad for the other MC I kept chanting : “Run , dude, run, he’s covered in red flags!!“
The reason Jake loves Dan is because Dan speaks his mind, he doesn't hold secrets, and he knows what he's going to get. Dan does his job, he cares for the people he loves, he doesn't spread rumors, and he tries super hard, and is super smart.
Super smart I say? Why yes. Because, I don't know if I could read when words squiggle around on a page or a sign. Dyslexia is not just a "you can't read" problem. Dyslexia makes it near impossible to read because the words move like a Harry Potter picture. I thought intelligence, being able to admit one was wrong, and stepping out into one's uncomfortable zone were something to admire. But to each their own!
Another point about Dan is that he is non-violent. He did not want to get in fights. He threatened, he said bad words, but he never caused violence. He was decent in that he just wanted to go on about his day, not actually get into it with someone. Even if they offended his sensibilities. As "bar back-up", he's completely worthless. I'd rather have Mimi at my side when bottles and chairs break over a laminate top. That's how passive Dan is.
Later edit: After reading all the other reviews I went back to it to see if maybe I’ve jumped the gun too fast and wow…Freaking WOW!!
This is a testament to you guys (my peeps, my V.I.R.'s, my ARC team). You made this reader wonder if they were wrong and that's a powerful thing. I'm impressed with you guys! Do not wield that power lightly, it could be called gaslighting in another form.
SPOILER (stop here if you intend to read the book)
I have so much respect for this reviewer even if they don't get Dan. Because of this spoiler alert, I know the reviewer is not a j-hole to other readers. I have tremendous amounts of respect for this reviewer for this. So, do stop if you haven't read The Silent Road and want to read it. This is truly why I've not called them out by name. I don't want retaliation. I just want a chance for people to hear my side of the story (in case they didn't read the book).
Apparently the only way the author thought to make the bigot more…..accepting towards “the faggot” is by adding a gay bashing to the mix. And then the homophobe dick goes all “tz tz tz , see what happens when you’re a homo?” And then we see his musings on the subject where he patronizingly agrees that nobody would choose this miserable life if they had a choice.
I wish I was as creative as this reviewer makes me out to be! Long time fans know this about me, but I'll tell you if you're new. My stories are inspired by real life events. If that doesn't sink in, then let me be specific.
I, me, as in, with my own personal experience, I have had the honor of helping defend a friend, saving them from "reform camp", with this argument.
See, my best friend in high school was gay. His mom was Christian and not amused at his coming out. It went bad.
As he was crying and packing his bags for reform camp, I made my case. I pointed out homosexual behavior in nature. I pointed out data points in research I'd done in a science class. I'd made argument after argument. But what made my best friends mom realize that this wasn't a "thing God could chase away" was the question, "Do you really think he's just trying to be abnormal? You know you're son. Would he really have sex with other boys if he could just please you and have sex with girls?"
Boom. Parent's mind blown. My bestie was no longer going to reform camp.
So I have to ask, how do you get through to an adult whose hell-bent on an idea you know is wrong, but they think is truth?
All I can say is this argument prevented a very hurt, confused teen from having to go through more confusion and hurt because that very argument brought a family together in understanding.
Also, Dan is demisexual. Sometimes it's a shock to realize for a person. Sometimes you need an earthquake, or a violent act, to wake up and realize who you are.
Go fuck yourself, dude!
Yeah! You tell that guy! Totally! (It's too bad this reviewer can't see their own hypocrisy.)
I am so proud of myself for getting this type of reaction because it means this reviewer was moved to write about it.
Why am I proud?
I'm going to leave you with something Franz Kafka wrote to a friend to tell you why:
And that is my belief as well.
I'm truly sorry this reviewer is too narcissistic to get past their own expectations to see my main character's fear, insecurity, and pain caused from a social conditioning that makes his only recourse against his own nature verbal vitriol. It's okay to be gay. It's okay to be straight. It's okay to be bi. Turn away from the dark side of emotions, young one, or be lost forever.
But I'm so glad I could address the review I was waiting for to expand, explain plainly, what my thoughts were for the story.
I love each and every 5 star review. Please know that it's my joy that I write what you love.
But it's also my job, as a writer, to awaken those that don't look too keenly inward. I break apart my characters so readers understand these pages might just be a mirror for the things they hate about themselves. Once they see that, they might, just might do something about it.
Sometimes I'm successful.
You might doubt me, but since this reviewer left a review, I know I got to them. I hope they dwell on it and maybe someday come back and can see The Silent Road as an argument to be more accepting, more kind, and less judgmental. Not just towards people, but also life. Or maybe they can't see what they wrote as being intolerant, angry, and hypercritical as all hell. Time will tell.
Until next time...
Thanks for taking a look at my little hodgepodge of a blog.
The format and subjects of my blog has changed through the years as it's my log of S.N.McKibben's writing journey.
You've now been sufficiently forewarned, happy reading!