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You Phail!

Dec. 7th, 2005 12:50 am
teabiting: (dumbledore OMG)
I'm bored, and so decided that instead of my usual "Romance Novel Review", I'm going to review this novel, which is better sleepy-time material than the White Pages in the Smith section.
Title: Savages of Gor
Author: John Norman
Pages: 330
Year Published: 1982 (The 1982 Gor Book!)

Summary: Tarl Cabot (har de har) is hanging around on the planet Gor when some big, hairy things (Kurii) come and say they are looking for another large hairy thing (Kur) that is supposedly lost in some wasteland somewhere. Tarl, after careful (hahaha...) questioning and probing at the Kurii, asks them the Big Question - "Why do you want to find the big hairy thing in the wasteland?" The answer? The Kurii want to kill the other big hairy thing. They ask Tarl Cabot (tee hee) if he will assist them, since he probably knows the location of the Kur. Tarl Cabot says no, the Kurii get pissed off and rip the table apart, end of interview. Sadly, they do not rip Tarl Cabot's head off. When questioned later by his trusty sidekick - "Why not help them find the Kur?" - Tarl says, "Well, I had a drink with that Kur once. You know."

Obviously, this is plenty of reason to trek into the wasteland. So Tarl does, eventually joining up with a trader going through said wasteland, where we eventually get to the heart of the story: slave girls and sex.

The story suspends for awhile (ahem... nearly the whole book) while Tarl explains the rigors of slave-owning to a new slave. First, they have to submit to you. How do you do that? Sex. Then, you have to teach them to submit a little more. How do you do that? Sex, sometimes near-rape, but they'll like it all the same. All women like it, they just don't know it. Women want to be feminine, because it means sex and being owned by a man. Obviously.

So, sparing you reading 150 pages of endless, moronic diatribe that borders on the creepy, John Norman basically is saying, through his adventurous intermediary, women should all be slaves. Slaves are pretty awesome to own. You can have sex with them a lot. The end.

But Tarl is a smooth talker. He can go on and on, talking the poor slave girl (who obviously has the brain capacity of a small, deep-sea fish) in circles. The poor slave girl who has his attentions is an Earthling, brought to Gor by magic spaceships who deposited her in a field with a bunch of other girls, nearly nude, of course. After a brief explanation of her incredibly boring heritage, she declares, "I am afraid to be feminine!" and says she wants to be a good slave. Tarl realizes that she really just wants to have sex, and so woos her with the following pick-up lines:

"I do not mean to insult you, girl of Earth, but you are obviously extremely feminine. You have, doubtless, a large number of female hormones in your body" and "I will be gentle with you this time, but sometimes you must understand you will be used quite differently, for example, with contempt and scorn, or brutality, or cruel indifference, or perhaps, with ruthless power." Of course, what girl could resist such charm, such graceful delivery? The girl falls straight into his arms, he takes her virginity, and paints her virgin's blood all over her legs. Why? Obviously, because he is Tarl Cabot. Taker of Virginity, Spreader of Seed, Virile Manhood of the Universe!

Anyway, the caravan goes on, collects some more slaves, etc. Tarl has more sex with all the slaves, which he obviously enjoys to the point of unending sentences and endless diatribe, to which pitifully short and undescriptive "love scenes" are penned. There's some fighting among the Indians red people on the grasslands, the Kurii show up, more fighting, Tarl proves himself to be a virile man by slaughtering lots and then having his way with a couple of slave girls.
Reviewer's Notes: Oh my god, make it stop. Please make it stop. Please, dear God, have mercy, and make it stop. And someone please make John Norman use punctuation that is not a fricking comma.
By the Numbers:
"Love" Scenes:
References to stolen/misplaced/otherwise lost virginity: 16
Plot "Twists": 0
Number of Women Lusting After the Hero: 454,105,294.3
Number of Fights/All Out Wars over the Heroine/Hero's presence: 7
References to "slave orgasms": 25

Overall Grade: F! Where's the action? It's nowhere to be found. For a book that professes to be action-oriented, this read like a treatise on sexual slavery. "Slave orgasms?" He threw her down on the ground and told her to beg for mercy, and she supposedly orgasmed! What the hell! The entire book is just a stupid man's fantasy, who wants to make-believe that women want virile men to smack them around. Ok, ok, so the first few books were ok, but this is utterly ridiculous. F. Don't ever read it. There's a reason they're out of print.
I'm reading How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) by Ann Coulter. I'm not sure why, except as self-punishment or something. So far, it has a lot of opinion masked as truth. It bothers me because in each of the books I read, I do read the acknowledgements and bibliography. I like to know how people got the opinion they did. Al Franken's book was excellent, because it had a lot of sources in the back, most of which could be found on the internet. Ann Coulter's book, so far, has... none.

In the back, there are no pages stuffed full of sources. There is only a lonely acknowledgement page, which annoys me. I feel its an insult to readers to not supply your sources, especially in something as nebulous as politics. Anyway, this is the phrase I got to, on page 83, before I had to put the book down because I was laughing too hard.
While still completely vulnerable to another terrorist attack, Americans submit like good Germans to these purposeless airport shakedowns - which are about as useful as those national guardsmen hanging around in airports right after 9/11 carrying unloaded rifles.

This, of course, right after the diatribe on how airports literally hand out weapons on the plane and how the guards stole all her merchandise that she was planning to give for Christmas presents and her sterling silver bullet charm for her charm bracelet! Bullies!

So anyway, to top off today, a New York reporter is jailed for refusing to divulge a confidential source. The woman was jailed even though she never wrote a story on it, and is now supposedly in detention at the Alexandria Detention Center, which also conveniently houses Zacarias Moussaoui, a convicted terrorist. Haf'ta keep all the terrorists in one place, you know.

And Curious George is disappointed that Iraq has no WMD's. I really hate reading transcripts of the President's interviews because his grammar never fails to make me cringe. "...and at the same time, burning fossil fuels is a part of the cause of greenhouse gases." Dammit, it's burning fossil fuels ARE a part of the cause! 'ARE' not 'IS'! It's a verbal train-wreck. It seems strange that he is one of the most powerful men in the world yet he cannot afford a grammar tutor.

Oh, and I was tagged for a couple of these memes... I'll play along this time.. )
And then there was the Five Reasons You Consider Yourself a Geek...

1.) I have encyclopaedic knowledge of dog breeds. Funny, but true. For instance, I can tell you that the chow chow originated in China, but it was when it was shipped to England in the cargo hold (chow chow), it got its name. Or, I can tell you that the Ibizan Hound's only acceptable colors (per the AKC regulations) are white and red, anything else will earn the dog disqualification. Or even that the Plott(hound or hund) is discouraged from having pendulous flews (flews being the upper-lip portion of the dog's muzzle). I think this particular tendency started when Mr. Graw (I think that was his name - my mom's friend's father) gave me a book on AKC dog breeds when I was 9 or 10 years old, and it's really never abated. This is really never useful unless someone asks "Hey, what breed is Rover, here?"

2.) I am a music geek. My "best years" were in high school, being the "band aid" (yes, laugh it up) and librarian for the band. I have that annoying music-geek habit of leaving the room when something truly aurally offensive happens, i.e., that Bb was supposed to be a B. I like to perform and the smell of cork grease makes me excited (not in THAT way, thankyouverymuch). I like pointing out the merits of the Fux Rules of Counterpoint (which is really a very annoying amount of rules to have), and can recite all the cadences from memory (including what would make them "weak" or "strong"), and get really really really annoyed when amateurs "improvise" and completely destroy the piece (and I can tell you why it's not "improvising", and why a listener cannot accept it as such). Maybe that just makes me a snob, though.

3.) I really, really, really love anthropology. More specifically, I like studying how the human body has developed, and why. I like ancient cultures (none earlier than 1 A.D., please), I like theories on why neanderthals are considered an evolutionary dead-end, I like looking at those really old tools that were made by australopithecines. One of my favorite ancient-hominid holdovers into modern humans is the very slight sagittal crest in some human males, though any improvements on ancient forms are fascinating.

4.) Hello, history. Ok, so not all history. History directly pertaining to World War II, though. It's my forte, another thing I've been studying since my grandfather revealed that he wasn't simply a refugee in Europe, he was indeed also a soldier in the German army (albiet, a very young one and at the tail end of the war). It's fascinating how it started, and even more fascinating how, today, people still get many of the basic facts wrong about it. It's an interesting topic, made even more interesting for the amount of press about it, the wealth of information that's still being discovered.

5.) Ok, so there's really not a fifth thing that's geeky about me, except I use a computer and wear glasses, maybe. Unless it's the fact I like spices categorized by use, books categorized by genre, and really like to just categorize things. Links, objects, etc. Does that count? Or... maybe that I work on a MUD (I build, and I'm getting better at my mprogs) and like role-playing...

On that same note, I should also mention that I lose geek points every day by not being very interested in anime, at all. No, I have never watched a full episode of Pokemon. I've not seen Gundam Wing, and I don't leap joyfully on the newest Sailor Moon merchandise. I don't know a lot about computers, or math, I don't wear fussy shirts with pocket-protectors and seven different species of pens. I can only give you the rudimentary bits about physics, and that only because I'm reading Stephen Hawking's "The Universe... in a Nutshell". So either I am a very odd sort of geek, or *gasp* not a geek at all...

(no subject)

Jun. 10th, 2005 12:03 pm
teabiting: (Default)

Hunnert Words 'r so: Mourning the death of her late betroth, desperate to escape an unwanted marriage to a tyrannical duke, Lady Aurora Demming does the unthinkable. By marrying Nicholas Sabine, a dangerously handsome and seductive American, accused of piracy and awaiting execution on the gallows. For this scandalous marriage, Nicholas vows to be her husband for only one day, and spend one night of blazing passion in his arms before his hanging. In exchange, Aurora escapes her impending marriage and gains the independence she has always desired with widowhood. But neither of them expected that their one night of hot passion would change their lives forever.
Pages: 367
Author: Nicole Jordan AKA Anne Bushyhead
Year Published: 2000

Aurora Demming: *weep weep* Oh, my poor Geoffrey, Earl of March, lost at sea and presumed dead! Now I have to marry Lord Toad! *weep weep*
Nicholas Sabine: *being beaten by thugs* YARRRRR LEAVE OFF YEH HOSERS! YARRR!
Aurora Demming: *runs up* Stop it, you bad men! Stop it!
Hosers/Bad Men: *stop beating, look around*
Nicholas: YARR I'm a PIRATE. Yarr. Will you marry me, beautiful lady woman, because yeh saved me?
Aurora: *adjusts skirt* Sure.
They GET MARRIED THE NEXT DAY AND SPEND THE EVENING CONSUMMATING THE MARRIAGE. Because NICHOLAS says so, and LORD TOAD will not want "seconds". The next day, NICHOLAS is hung to pay for his piracy, and AURORA goes back to England.

Aurora: Oh my husband! My dear husband who was a filthy pirate but touched me so nicely! Woe! *weep weep*
Unexplained monkies..? )
Overall Grade: C+, for decent pace (until the middle where it DRAAAAAGGGGSSS ONNN FORREVERRRRR), Pirates, unexplained monkies. Marks taken off for excessive beating, inexplicable urchin boy, and horndog hero.
Other Reviews: To Clove A Rogue, The Tea Planter's Bride, and Traitor's Kiss.
I've read about a third through the book, America's Right Turn: How Conservatives Used New and Alternative Media to Take Power, by Richard A. Viguerie and David Franke. When I initially picked it up, I thought it had a fairly unbiased viewpoint (reading the foreword). I was astonished to find that most of the press in the United States had been primarily Liberal. I had never previously known anything about press bias, so I was intrigued. It talks a bit more about "left deviationists" than I'm comfortable with, but I felt fairly sure that they were going to get somewhere with it.

Now, I doubt.

On page 65, under the heading "The Conservative Revolution Begins" and "The Birth of a Movement", it reads,
The first young conservative activist foray was the National Student Committee for the Loyalty Oath, formed by Douglas Caddy and your coauthor David Franke in 1959.

The book goes on with a bit more bashing of Democrats at that point, but I'm not sure if it's justified, or simply going to get worse as I read it.

Too, they point out that at the 1960 GOP Convention in Chicago, 'hundreds of young conservatives had sneaked onto the convention floor, with the connivance of the Arizona and South Carolina delegations, where they shouted, tooted their horns, and waved their placards backing Goldwater.' Just the sort of rebellion that isn't allowed anymore, you know, where all GOP convention goers are carefully screened and thoroughly brainwashed before allowing to pass through the door. A page or so after that, the authors speak almost bitterly of 'Kennedy's theft of the election in Illinois' and how 'one must be guard against the temptation to view past history as preordained,' yet you can hear the rich chuckle and whisper in the background at how, well, the conservative party, you know, that's a little different.
Seeds of a revolution... )

However, the smugness and obvious liberal-bashing that becomes apparent in the last half of the book are a turn-off, not just as a liberal person, but as a thinking person. They seem to expect me to be awed by the magic words "liberal press", and take whatever they say and eat it. FDR was a conniving bastard who only wanted the US in WWII for his own aims? OK! John Kennedy stole the election? Sure! The liberals are spineless child murderers who barely have a party left anymore? Yes!... Which is where the book falls flat for me and becomes mindless propaganda. I had really expected better, especially after the interesting beginning, but I guess that my search for non-liberal-bashing factual accounts of the US's political structure (directly relating to the conservatives, of course) must continue.

Edit: Ok, I finished the book...Perhaps I was too hasty... )

So. I reform my opinion of this book. I was too hasty to judge, and it seems as if they've put together a good text that's decently comprehensive on the varied forms of media and how they were used by the Republican party in the US, but most importantly, why they were used. I could have done without the obvious liberal-bashing, but then, they are some of the founding "fathers" of the conservative movement, so I'll be, uhm, forgiving of that, I suppose.

Yes, to CLOVE a Rogue. Hunnert Words 'r less: Lovely Lorraine London had a sensuous charm that seemed to ignite the passions of every scoundrel in New England. Born in revolutionary America, she was sold into indentured servitude until she caught the roving eye of Raile Cameron, a renegade gunrunner, who lovingly rescued her (and then they go and do stuff, like having sex, throwing themselves into historically important events, eating tea and sandwiches delicately, and being rich).
Pages: 419
Author: Valerie Sherwood
Year Published: 1988

Complete Summary: Miss Lorraine is the resident Indentured Tavern Wench in pre-revolutionary U.S. of A. She's lovely, oh yes, with long blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and a figure that can make for plenty of retellings with its beauty. Now you might ask yourself, as I did: why am I being asked to love a tavern wench who is the stereotypical blue-eyed, blonde, hand-wringing, OMG Indians! type of girl whose one brave act was jumping on the back of a horse with a pirate? WHY!? I asked myself that through the whole book.

Anyway, so Lorraine is pretty, and if you believe the picture of her on the front, in the 1600's they believed in gobs of blue eyeshadow and had anorexic tavern wenches at every turn. Lorraine catches eye of Devious, Scottish, Handsome, Baggage-toting Pirate, Raile. Raile is privy to her near-rape ("OMG Phillip I want you! OMG wait, Phillip, I don't!"), and so offers her a chance at freedom ("Come with me to my ship, Tavern Wench, where we shall make love on the seas and I will pretend to take your emotional baggage seriously!" "OMG yes Raile!"). So they gallop off (on a horse) into the sunset.

But WAIT! There is a plot in the making! When Lorraine takes off, throwing off her shackles of servitude, the young dandy who took her virginity (OMG Phillip Dedwinton) shows up to claim dem papers of indenture, WHILE HE'S COURTING THE BELLE OF THE LAND! (*insert doom music here*). He plans to quietly indenture Lorraine after he marries said Belle, then have them both! (*evil cackle cackle*)

But Lorraine thwarts Phillips Evil Musings by, of course, running away with a handsome, well-endowed stranger (OMG). They see Indians ("OMG Raile Indians!"), but surprisingly make it through Indian-infested territory with their scalps intact, to board Raile's ship, the Likely Lass.

Of course, then, it follows that Raile will insist on Lorraine pretending to be his mistress ("OMG Raile how could you suggest such a thing ROFL") because, he says, it will protect her from the Evil Crew, who are a bunch of Frenchies picked up in Bordeaux, no papers, evil looking pirate Frenchie scalawags, who would be absolutely SCANDALIZED if they heard that under the bins of 'cheese n' woolens', they were carrying lots and lots of GUNS. They would be so scandalized they would turn this ship around right now, mister, and there would be NO BARBADOS BEACHES FOR ANYONE.

But there is a Secondary Plot afoot! Someone in the crew is a murdering Frenchie bastard! Is it the genial, kind-hearted doctor, who woos Lorraine when he finds out she is not REALLY sleeping with the well-endowed and masculine captain? Is it Little Johnny, who takes the tea and cakes to Lorraine, and is awestruck by her beauty? Is it the paranoid first mate, or maybe the happy but sinister-looking gunner? Is it one of the nameless crew people, who all like Lorraine when she's had too much wine? Or is it the Big Hairy Mute, who has an 'air of violence about him' like too much Calvin Klein?

Eventually, they get to the Caribbean, and some towns, and there is much merry making, and Lorraine almost falls into the bed with Raile ("OMG Raile you bought me HAIRPINS! OMG love me now!"), but they don't have sex, of course, because Puritanical Lorraine feels its improper to jump into bed with a man whose had many women in many different countries and who still carries around emotional baggage by the name 'Laurie-Ann Why Did You Leave Me'.

So there is a fire in one of the towns, and of course Lorraine is swept up in running around like a chicken with her head cut off, like everyone else in the town. But she eventually recovers what little sense she has, rounds up a carriage, and goes tearing off to the fire to find a girl with a baby whom she doesn't really know but hey, plot. They are, of course, returned unhurt ("OMG thank you God for OMG saving us from the evil fire").

But there is an Auxilary Plot to the Plot! Captain Bridey, commander of Fleet o' Trading Ships, has seen Lorraine! Worse, he remembers her! But Lorraine conveniently forgets all about that in the arms of Raile ("OMG Raile take me! OMG Raile don't touch me!").

But on the high seas there is passion AT LAST, and Lorraine surrenders to the 'burning fire o' loins' and humps Raile until he's exhausted. Half of the crew gets killed by the murderous frenchie, and it is exposed that the mute ("OMG Gaultier! OMG you're not mute! Stop trying to strangle me OMG OMG!") is the strangling killer. He falls off a cliff or something, and teaches us all the important lesson of Don't Trust A Man Who Won't Talk To You Because Likely He's A Lady-Killing Arse Who Only Wants To Masturbate On Your Hair.

So somehow or another, Raile finds out that Virginia is in dire need o' dem guns, so they travel back to Virginia, at the time of Bacon's Revolt. This is where Lorraine turns into a Mary Sue, briefly. She meets Bacon, almost seduces him, but leaves ("OMG Bacon yer so handsome and rich and beautiful, have some tea"). But Phillip finds her ("OMG Phillip what are you doing down here ROFL"), scoops her up and takes her back to Rhode Island in shackles to be his love/slop slave. But there is a Kindly Inkeeperess who takes pity on Lorraine, and conspires to smuggle Lorraine away from Evil Bastard Phillip ("OMG st00pid Phillip! How could he have married the Belle and try to screw me now OMG BAD!"), in a barrel.

So Lorraine goes to Barbados again, where she finds out that her father was rich, becomes an heiress, buys a couple of plantations and lords it above the tonne of Bridgetown, Barbados. Phillip eventually comes sniffing after her, but in a calculated BDSM twist, she imprisons Phillip on her plantation and tortures him to get her articles of indenture back ("OMG liek serioushly, Phillip, give them to me now or I shall squeal and stomp around like a little bitch!"). He doesn't, but Raile shows up with the disputed articles, Phillip is hanged or summat, and Lorraine marries Raile and all live happy ever after ("OMG Raile you pinched my nipple!"). THE END.
By the Numbers:
Good Sex Scenes: 1
References to "stolen/misplaced/otherwise lost" virginity: 19
Plot "Twists": 8
Number of Men Lusting After Heroine: 200,000
Number of Men Lusting After Heroine that Heroine Loves: 2
Number of Mary-Sue Incidents: 1
Number of Fights Over Heroine: 3
Times "Fate" Intervened: 5
Times "Fate" Intervened by about 500 miles: 3/5

Overall Grade: C+, for somewhat historical accuracy and pirates (ARR!), but points taken off for Mary-Sue incident, only one decent sex scene, the mute being "the murderer", and Lorraine being a general idiot.

Other historical romance novel reviews: The Tea Planter's Bride and Traitor's Kiss.


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