The CSFF Blog Tour is featuring The Charlatan’s Boy this week. The long-come-short: a loose confederation of book bloggers read the same book and review it the same week as a way of building internet traffic for said book, as well as for one another’s blogs. If you’re interested, a good place to start exploring the two dozen or so blogs that are talking about The Charlatan’s Boy this week is Rebecca LuElla Miller’s blog, which summarizes the highlights of the tour and has a link to the participants’ blogs.
I want to bring to your attention one of those blogs–Frederation, written by Fred Warren. I caught him trying to write a review of The Charlatan’s Boy without having read the book. My first impulse was to turn him in, make an example of him. But he seemed like a good kid with a lot of talent, just a little misguided. I thought it best to give him another chance. If I gave him something to keep him busy, it might keep him off the streets. So I issued Fred a challenge. I wrote the following on his blog:

Thanks, Fred. Your post is very much in the spirit of The Charlatan’s Boy. The mind boggles to think what a great review you would have written if you had read the book.

Mind if I issue a challenge? I’d love to see what kind of review you could write just from the chapter titles. You have to promise not to cheat and read any of the actual book–only the chapter titles and the back cover copy. If you’re up to the challenge, I will post your review on my blog. If you want to go back and read the book later, fine, but according to the terms of this challenge, you have to review the book sight unseen.

What say you?

Fred rose to the challenge, and very much so. His review is hilarious and brilliant, going chapter-by-chapter through the book and making observations that, in the tradition of charlatans everywhere, are vague and general but give the impression of insightfulness. It’s quite masterful, and I highly recommend that you go here and read it.

Fred, nicely done.

I should also point out that Fred is an author himself. His book The Muse is available at his website. I haven’t read it, but his chops as a writer of fake reviews bode well for his authorship.

  • Rebecca LuElla Miller
    5:44 PM, 8 December 2010

    Jonathan, I appreciate the link to my site as well. I thought I’d point out, however, that in the good tradition of those who use all three of their names, I consider my middle one is as important as the front one. It’s LuElla (after my grandmother) rather than Luellen. I’m sure no one else would even notice. 😉

    • Jonathan Rogers
      5:51 PM, 8 December 2010

      Sorry, Rebecca LuElla. It’s now fixed. As the husband of a Lou Alice, it’s a mistake I shouldn’t have made.

  • Fred Warren
    6:03 PM, 8 December 2010

    I haven’t read it, but his chops as a writer of fake reviews bode well for his authorship.
    A dubious qualification, but thanks for the plug, Jonathan. 🙂


  • Steve S
    7:29 PM, 9 December 2010

    I would purchase “The Muse” on the strength of a positive review from you. You may argue that chapter titles like “17” or “31” don’t give you much to work with, but that hardly seems consistent with the can-do spirit Mr. Warren has displayed.

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