Wild Animus

The story behind the publication/promotion of Rick Shapero’s Wild Animus is infinitely more interesting than the one contained inside. Shapero is a millionaire who launched Too Far Publishing to “be a patron for myself.” Promotion includes giving away thousands of copies on the street, a phony book burning stunt and sending bribes to reviewers (thanks for the pen and journal!). Wading through his paragraphs is excruciating. Here’s an example, in which the protagonist, Sam Altman, is the unintentional target of a tear gas attack on the Berkeley campus in the ’60s: “Waking from his reverie, he came to a halt—a six-foot statue with shoulder-length hair, his oversized shirt billowing out of burgundy bell bottoms. He watched the smoke spread, face expressionless beneath a three-day stubble, listening, his gray-green eyes sharp and intense. The air was pulsing violently around him.” When you finally get to the plot, there’s nothing but a self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing story of pseudo-enlightenment through drugs and nature worship. Highly recommended as a lesson in how not to write. If you want to laugh out loud, check some of the reviews on Amazon.com (try to figure out which one has been planted).