April 27, 2009

A contest that means something (to someone, anyway)

Richard Hine, a frequent anti-caption contest winner — "in the days when there were winners," he notes uproariously, alerts me that his would-be debut novel Russell Wiley Is Out To Lunch is a semi-finalist in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Awards. That means that out of 10,000 entries, the free excerpt of his book linked above has been judged one of the best 100. I'm unclear on how the judging works, but Richard is pretty sure it has something to do with the number of people who download the free excerpts (linked above). Given that his comic novel concerns sex and the media biz, it's a natural for readers of this site (I look forward to reading the excerpt (linked above) myself).

Richard writes: "The out-of-NY finalists are getting profiled in local papers, etc. but jaded NY-ers are perhaps understandably less impressed by the enormity of the achievement reflected in entering an online contest." So consider Radosh.net your local newspaper and help out a fellow reader. At stake: a contract with Penguin Books and a $25k advance.

If you do read it, let us know what you think.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Wow -- finally I find something on this blog I can really relate to! Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

enormity? really?

What's a would-be debut novel?

A novel whose manuscripts will be incinerated in the event of a second place finish

Ditto re "enormity." Pet peeve. Barack Obama's misuse of same shows his pretentious arriviste ways, IMHO.

If something's a big deal, just call it a big deal. If you need to show off an expensive edumacation, words like "importance" or "significance" suffice. Leave "enormity" its power to describe waterboarding, or soliciting contest entries and then not holding the contest.

Um, pretty obviously he's using "enormity" ironically.

Also: a plane crashed into the Pentagon, which is right near the Potomac, so they have the same friggin' experience with that!

Well, um (can we retire that adolescence soon I hope?), the intended irony is obvious, as is the misuse of the word "enormity."

If irony is to describe something sarcastically as its opposite, and "enormity" means outrageousness or extreme wickedness, then is Good Master Hine saying his achievement is noncontroversial or very virtuous? No, obviously he is being charmingly self-effacing and saying this present recognition of his no-doubt fine work is not of earth-shattering significance, hence "enormity" here is misused.



The sad truth is that I lack an expensive edumacation of any kind. This may cause me to sometimes misuse words in my efforts to be charmingly self-effacing, but in this instance the misuse was not intended to be controversial.


Thanks again for posting the original piece and for your defense of me.

to you both:

Maybe my point would have been better made if I said "earth-shattering significance" instead of "enormity" in the first place.

Richard H:

You acquit yourself well, sir. I shall read your little book with avid interest now. I hope it is as amusing as Radosh's prattle about the crap hucksters sell to pimply Judeo-Christian death cult junior members.

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