Consider the following opinions:
“Over all, this is a mediocre read that could use some polishing and a bit more flair.”
“By the way, this is the first E-book I've read that was properly edited! Sentence structure, spelling, punctuation are all perfect.”
“Nothing spectacular to keep the reader wanting more. I finished it but it was more like a chore.”
“This book was such a dramatic change of pace from everything I've read recently that I was surprised by it. It was absolutely beautiful.”
And there were some unexpected things too. Some of the readers did not state accurately in their reviews how many stories there are in the book. Some wrote that there are four stories in the book while others wrote there are seven (the actual number is five). Also several reviewers seemed to think the events described in the book are real! They are actually a mix of fact and fiction, but it has much more of the latter (I will probably write about this in a future post). Additionally several people were bothered by the parenting approach of Nell’s father who sometimes lies to his daughter to either protect her or to not “burst her bubble.”
Several readers named a favorite story. If we assign one point per favorite (including ties) and 0.5 points per second favorite the tally is:
The meaningless Christmas Tree 8.5
The Sun Zebra 5.5
Bob The Intrepid Insectnaut! 1
The Meaningless Christmas Tree is indeed a very powerful story, so it is fitting that it is at the top of the list. The only story that so far no one has named as their favorite is Birdman and the Fairytale.
One reviewer wrote that my stories were reminiscent of the stories written by James Herriot because of the animals in some of the stories. Several reviewers stated that the stories reminded them of moments they spent with their kids, and some even shared them with their children. This was interesting as I had conceived this book as a “children’s book for adults” because all the stories deal in one way or another with death and aging.
Ray Bradbury once wrote that when he read his old books he would think “wow, did I write that?” I guess that it is unavoidable for authors to fall in love with their work. However, it has been said that when your own work moves you to tears or makes you laugh that is not good, as you end up invariably becoming too full of yourself. And I think that is my problem. Every time I reread The Sun Zebra I laugh or shed a tear. But since many readers have stated in their reviews or messages to me that the stories made them laugh and cry, I guess then that I am not alone!
So today I want to thank all the wonderful complex people that read The Sun Zebra, and I hope that when I publish my next book you will like it too.
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