August 10, 2006



honestly, if the book can stand on its own merit then so be it. she's not that good looking, sorry to be so negative but it's the truth and anyone so contrived as to focus solely on her looks needs to spend a little bit more time outside of a bookstore..


Pessl's book is superb, read the last 200 pages in one sitting, and will be recommending it to everyone for the rest of the year.


The issue in TEV's post isn't the books quality. It's the reviewer's issues. When I was doing my reporting for Wired.com my editor would never in a million years have let me get away with quoting the bloggers without naming them. What kind of journalism is the Times doing? Are reviewers exempt from basic rules?


Truth --

It would be interesting to inhabit your world, since you don't find Pessl very attractive. Are you one of those guys who have a fetish for fat chicks or amputees? That's the only way your trollish comment makes any kind of sense.

Joe Blow

Doesn't it even cross you rmind that your weird obsessive inistence that mainstream media types are "threatened" -- nay, "shaken" -- by you reeks of desperate self-aggrandizement? Honestly: it's pathetic. I can guarantee you that the woman who wrote the Times review has no idea who you are, and couldn't care less. -- Oh, and MJ? Honey? I don't know what "reporting" you did for "wired.com" -- listings, I'd guess -- but you can quote anyone you want to without naming them, at any publication in America. And you don't even have to wait a million years. Especially if they're people as inconsequential as bloggers.


the hostility to bloggers is everywhere in the newspapers these days -- no more so then when blogs correct inaccuracies in news reports, but increasingly just in gratiutious asides that serve more to lay bare the neuroses of freelancers to editors who desparately want to believe their top-down models will survive.


i realize the article itself was written about the NYTBR but i was simply making an assessment on this overkill regarding Pessl's picture considering i've seen multiple blogs about her good looks. i bought the book. read the first 30+ pages. some of the writing could be more concise but it is entertaining, no doubt about that. james, you're an idiot. is her picture seriously "drool-worthy"? as has been stated by a few bloggers. not even close. she's DEFINITELY not so gorgeous you'd ask yourself whether she "just got by on her looks" as so many bloggers are seemingly doing. i think she got by because she's written an entertaining book and you need to take your hand out of your pants and spend some time outside of dramatically underlit coffee shop corners..


Oh come on! She is attractive. She's certainly no fug. Maybe the problem is she's just not your type, truth. ;)

Anyway, i cant help but agree with Mark on this. Liesl Schillinger is being ridiculous. Not only that, but sloppy and insulting.

I guess since reviews of Pessl's book range from good to great she, for some reason, felt the need to drum up a bit of controversy.


Hey, "Joe/Truth", maybe you can tell me why it's the anonymous posters who hide behind false email addresses who always swagger so bravely? And unless you are Liesl Schillinger posing as an illiterate asshole, there's no way you can guarantee anything. But, beyond being a coward, you're also evidently an idiot - the reviewer devoted the front page of the New York Times Book Review to a complaint about bloggers. Whether she's aware of this site (and I never made any claim on that score), she clearly pays attention to blogs. Hence the point of the post. And hence the proof that you are, as advertised, an idiot.

If you post anonymously again, your post will be deleted. If you want to slam people around here, sign your name.


While I disagree with its tone, I find there is a kernel of something I agree with in the anonymous poster's comments: I always cringe when reading your blog and others' when it comes to these kinds of defensive posts (mostly because in all other ways I enjoy your site). It seems that every time someone from a newspaper or magazine speaks of bloggers without the proper respect, there's a great hue and cry about it. It's like the blogger police. Why? The ease of blogging means that anyone and everyone can do it, and so the range of intelligence, insight and even motive is really, really wide. Which is great. But it also means that along with some wonderful things you get a big share of idiocy. Just like you would in a big group discussion. That's fine, but it also opens up the "blogosphere" to legitimate criticism. Sometimes the most popular blogs feed off of controversy and gossip, so alot of that is what people are going to see, and to respond to. And I don't think bloggers should expect to be taken seriously simply because they have set up an account and have started rattling off their musings.
Having said all that, you of course have the right to respond to Schillinger's story, and I agree that if her "distaste for bloggers" clouds her critical thinking that this is a problem. I just wonder why you protest so stridently against these poor "threatened," "shaken" overcompenating and insecure mainstream critics.

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