David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines
hradzka

books to make my flist's heads explode: John Ringo

Lately, some folks on my f-list have been looking at Lord King Bad profic. brown_betty gave us LEOPARD LORD, and cereta reviewed THE SHEIK, and burger_eater pointed me to Smart Bitches, Trashy Books's take on Shayla Black's DECADENT. These books, it should be admitted, are deeply awful, and as portrayals of their authors' ids, they're more than a little alarming. You don't want to look, but you can't look away. The awfulness becomes sublime.

So why am I commenting about this? Well, because I feel a little like Richard Dreyfuss in JAWS, during the scar scene: "I got that beat. I got that beat."

Permit me to introduce John Ringo.

Contains excerpts of fiction revolving heavily around 1) rape and 2) whores. If you're bothered by this kind of thing, YOU REALLY DO NOT WANT TO READ ABOUT THIS. Even though it's so bad it's funny.Collapse )
Tags: books, oh john ringo no
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OH JOHN RINGO NO!

This is like real-world badfic, and I am almost tempted to find the books, but I have a feeling that, even given my love for badfic, I wouldn't be able to finish them. On some level I really do have to marvel at and find interesting all the justifications given in the book for his actions, but mostly I think think this is hilarious. It is the epitome of horrimusement. Thank you for sharing this fascinating piece of fiction.

You're welcome! The books really are quite interesting, because they manage to be both horrifying and (particularly in the case of the later books) a lot better than you'd expect in some weird ways. Horrimusing, yes, but also strangely fascinating.
*reaching for the brain bleach* Yeah. I knew they'd be bad just from the jacket blurbs. At least, from the jacket blurbs in tandem with what Ringo's done to Cally and the Princess of Wands woman and... really, every strong woman he writes, sooner or later. I can deal with him best when he's got Weber around to counterbalance him and ixnay the gratuitous rape and torture scenes. *hopes earnestly for Nimashet's continued torture-free life*

It's a shame, really, because I like how he writes humor. But most of the solo books I can't get through, even by scene-skipping.
I have yet to skip a scene. I do flail from time to time, but that is where my reset comes in handy.

You mean the March to the... series

Anonymous

12 years ago

WHAT.

This is a picture of my expression right now: --> DDDDDDD:

However! All of this did inspire me to go make a donation to the Helen Bamber Foundation, so that is something.

But there is NOT ENOUGH BRAIN BLEACH IN THE WORLD.
Well, you could also donate to Mike's Wildlife Refuge for Whores! That is a fine charity that does all sorts of rehabilitation and OH JOHN RINGO NO.

Anonymous

April 20 2008, 21:50:00 UTC 12 years ago

These are just some of the reasons I don't read novels set in modern times.
Oh my freaking god.

I used to work with a guy who would have LOVED these books. Unironically.
A lot of people apparently do! And say so, with their wallets. This actually makes for an interesting problem for Ringo: he knows when he's writing crud, as witnessed by his original inclination to not publish GHOST, but now he's got to please a paying audience who *enjoys* crud.

Makes for a really interesting tension, particularly in the later books.

lydia_petze

12 years ago

this review/analysis is excellent - I've been addicted to this series since reading Ghost years ago, and I can't stop reading them despite all my objections to the hero's sexual and political leanings. not sure just what keeps me coming back, but when the next book comes out, I'll be there grabbing a copy
OH THANK GOD I'M NOT ALONE.

groblek

12 years ago

:(
So... basically... Katya is Mercy Graves?

I am truly horrified, and must get this first book to scar my friends with when we go camping.
Highly recommended. They're in the woods; they can't run away. Though they may try.
Here via Metafandom. And all I can say is ... MY BRAIN HUUUURTS!
I read some of his other books, and I could see that I didn't like his politics, but the books were a rollicking good time and I thought, "Oh, it's just fiction."

But now, I feel icky. And Jim Baen! John Weber is apparently one messed up dude, but Jim Baen encouraged him and gave him money for the sickness. ick ick ick I don't think I'll be able to enjoy the next The Council Wars book.

OTOH, this was absolutely priceless. Hilarious and disturbing at the same time. I don't suppose you read Laurel K. Hamilton? She's got just as much ID dripping over the place, but her issues are way different.
I don't suppose you read Laurel K. Hamilton? She's got just as much ID dripping over the place, but her issues are way different.

You know, that's actually a *really* interesting contrast you bring up. Ringo started off with pure id, and is augmenting that with more interesting stuff as his series progresses; Hamilton started out with a terrific series premise, which gave life to a mini-genre, but wound up losing it and angering a large chunk of her original readership by embracing her id and descending into ever more sex-soaked drivel. They're heading in opposite directions.

Might be worth considering at length...

Laurel K. Hamilton

saintonge

12 years ago

here from metafandom also...

i can't read the Keldara stuff for a number of reasons, but to be fair:
1) as you mentioned, Ringo didn't want to publish this stuff, really - it was his own version of mental masturbation, and Jim Baen grumped at him over not even considering him for publisher...

2) you really aren't supposed to like Mike as a character. really. aren't supposed to like him.

3) Ringo is well aware Mike's not really a good guy... (which i comment on below)

but that brings me to why *i* can't read the books. every time i try, i have severe issues with the *rest* of the *western* characters in the books. the most disturbing thing to me is that none of the western characters dislike Mike - in fact, they keep telling him what a great guy he is. they keep telling him that's he's really not so bad for his actions regarding 'his' women. it tends to make me sick with rage.

and then worse is that whenever this book is discussed in Ringo's own forum on baen's bar, i get the impression that the posters are pretty much salivating over Mike - which just makes me sick. i may be wrong on the impression - i realized a few months ago i was doing my trick where i was literally projecting words onto a screen whenever this conversation came up. so i don't read discussions on it anymore, because one of my own internet-rules is not to post when i'm seeing red. and this one's sort of an automatic button for me.

that said, would you mind if i posted the URL over there or in my LJ of this review? not everyone over there is fond of books, and an explanation of the features from John himself may be interesting... or not.

but i thought i'd ask your permission because the posting style of the barfly, on average is much shorter and sharper than the usual fandom-fen's style. it might make for some wank if people don't read their comments through the right lense.

-bs
erm, that should read 'fond of *these* books.'

what can i say? it's monday. ::sighs::

-bs

hradzka

12 years ago

boogieshoes

12 years ago

cmdr_zoom

12 years ago

Katya sounds awesome. Now I want one of the characters in *my* ludicrous id-driven original fiction project to have a sociopathic cyborg ex-hooker sidekick.
With poison fingernails! The poison fingernails are VERY IMPORTANT.
Thank you for this. Not merely was it hysterically funny, but since John Norman went out of print a useful Female Early Warning System has been lost. In my young days, the word got around: if you were invited back to a man's flat and you saw Gor on the shelves you just left. Fast. No explanations.

I've been worrying about what to tell my stepdaughter. Should she find herself in similar circs, when she goes to university.

You have encapsulated it:
OH JOHN RINGO NO
...I actually have several of the Gor books.

Admittedly, I think they're in storage right now rather than on my shelves, but I *have* 'em.

(I have a weird fascination for balls-crazy world-building. Gor *owns* balls-crazy.)
Wow. To be honest, I clicked on this because I thought it was going to be about the Beatles - but even though I have never heard of this author, this is a tremendously entertaining read. Badfic in bookform, hmm? I'm almost tempted to go and check this guy out ... almost.
Cheers for the fantastically snarky read.
if you want *decent* books by John Ringo, and are into milfic, blood, guts, and high body counts, try the posleen series - starts with A Hymn Before Battle.

otherwise, i recommend the Princess of Wands series, or the March Upcountry stuff.

the Ghost stuff was... never supposed to be published. watching it take on the life and following - and criticism - it has has been kind of flabbergasting for friends and critics alike. notice i say 'friends', not fans. :-p i can only imagine Ringo himself wants to bury his head in the sand every time he hears about how popular this is - even *he* thinks it's drek (and has said so, several times).

-bs

Bimbos of the Death Sun revisited

Anonymous

12 years ago

Holy dear mother of someone...
I read the first in the series when I worked in a bookstore and could do so for free. I didn't keep up with the rest of the series, and now I don't know if I'm relieved, or disappointed, because my GOD, it sounds utterly batshit insane and sometimes you have to go utterly beyond all that's decent and good.

"He adopts them. Like cats."

Brilliant line. I'm still laughing.
IT'S TRUE. HE DOES.

...CHOOSERS OF THE SLAIN is the best book for the whoring, because just when you're convinced it's not going to happen again, it totally does. I honestly lost track of the number of hookers and would-be hookers he was carting around; if he ever opened that refuge for whores, it would be *incredibly* well-stocked.
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  • dear author letter 2014

    Dear Yuletide Author, Here's the part I type every year: I'm pretty much a genfic guy. Light romance is okay, especially if it's funny, but for the…

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