Thursday, February 18, 2010

Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded - John Scalzi

Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded
John Scalzi
Tor Books
Copyright: 2010
978-0765327116
The Amazon.com product description:
On September 13, 1998, John Scalzi sat down in front of his computer to write the first entry in his blog Whatever--and changed the history of the Internet as we know it today.

What, you're not swallowing that one? Okay, fine: He started writing Whatever and amused about 15 people that first day. If that many. But he kept at it, for ten years and running. Now 40,000 people drop by on a daily basis to see what he's got to say.

About what? Well, about whatever: Politics, writing, family, war, popular culture and cats (especially with bacon on them). Sometimes he's funny. Sometimes he's serious (mostly he's sarcastic). Sometimes people agree with him. Sometimes they send him hate mail, which he grades on originality and sends back. Along the way, Scalzi's become a best-selling, award-winning author, a father, and a geek celebrity. But no matter what, there's always another Whatever post to amuse and/or enrage his readers.

Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded collects some of the best and most popular Whatever entries from the first ten years of the blog – a decade of Whatever, presented in delightfully random form, just as it should be. 
Given what I've thought about John Scalzi's other books I've read: Old Man's War, The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony, I thought this would be an interesting read. It was. Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded is a selection of blog posts that Scalzi has posted over the last decade to his blog Whatever (I'm having an impossible time getting the url to work, so no link unfortunately).

He's posted on just about every subject under the sun over there, and they're collected together in this book: politics, religion, the War on Terror, celebrities, family, all of it and more. Yes it's controversial at times, what else do you expect with a title like Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded? However, it's also highly entertaining to read.

They're blog posts, so of varying lengths. Most are one or two pages, but there are a few longer ones mixed in, and there's not much organization that I can see. Each entry/chapter has the date it was originally posted on at the top of the page, but the entries aren't sorted by date either. Scalzi had me laughing many times as I read the entries he's selected for this book. It's certainly a change of pace from science fiction and fantasy novels, but I could see the similarities in the writing here and in his novels.

Perhaps this book isn't for everyone, certainly not for the easily offended, but I liked it quite a bit.
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