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'Weirdmonger' book - Free!des lewis65 12-15-07  02:34 pm
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des lewis
Posted on Thursday, July 19, 2007 - 12:45 am:   

WEIRDMONGER BOOK: details:
http://members.fortunecity.com/elizabethbowen/

If you kill this thread, you will receive by surface mail the above book (signed to you and as new).
This book has been universally considered a most beautiful-looking book, but its contents being an acquired taste, a taste that has, nevertheless, over the years, been acquired by many readers (judging by reviews and comments made).

To 'kill' this thread, you need to be the last poster before at least 48 hours of inactivity on this thread and each post on this thread needs to be a critique (comprising at least 50 words) of any one of the stories on the Weirdmonger Wheel:
http://weirdmonger.mindsay.com/reinvented_wheel.mws
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Thursday, July 19, 2007 - 04:34 pm:   

I have been to the noodle zone and apparently, so to have the characters in Des Lewis's seemingly enigmatic "Death Sweat."

http://weirdmonger.blogspot.com/2004/09/death-sweat.html

The noodle zone is that surreal realm where the hard rationality of everyday life softens into a limp noodle. I entered the noodle zone when I lost my job and had no income except for the stray change I could find on the sidewalk. Suddenly, the rules of my old life no longer applied. Rather than thinking in terms of dollars and cents like my fellow Americans, my mind adjusted to a new economy. No longer was a new car worth $10,000. It was worth 100,000 packages of ramen noodles, ramen noodles being the only food I ever found that could keep me relatively full for under $6.00 a month. This world of the noodle, is the world of "Death Sweat."

The story starts out with a man asking a shopkeeper for a pot noodle. The answer is no because the shop is out of pot noodles. Being an American, I had to look up pot noodles to be sure what they were. My initial impression was that they were a home-made dish cooked in a pot like chicken and noodles. I looked them up on yahoo, never google because we yahoos have to stick together, and found that pot noodles seemed to be reminiscent of the ramen noodles in the foam cups with which I was familiar. Pot noodles, though, are apparently better for you with only 5% fat now.

(Continued later).
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Thursday, July 19, 2007 - 05:33 pm:   

(Continued from my previous post)

The shopkeeper offers the customer "prime Scotch Beef Rump Steak." Could any food be more solid and substantial than rump steak, so different from the ever tumbling off the fork meal of noodles? The customer refuses the reality of rump steak, showing himself firmly planted in the noodle zone.

The shopkeeper goes home and sleeps when he drifts off into dream. Macrobius in _Commentary on the Dream of Scipio_ classifies dreams into five main types: enigmatic, prophetic, oracular, nightmare and apparition. The Romans did not have pot noodles, though. In this post post modern age, there is a sixth dream and that dream is the noodle dream. (Let's not discuss Freud and Jung here, please). A noodle dream is the dream that the shopkeeper had that night.

(Continued later)
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Thursday, July 19, 2007 - 06:33 pm:   

(Continued from my previous post)

A noodle dream is a dream that combines elements of all or most of Macrobius's five dreams by ripping away the topsoil below our feet and showing us that the bedrock that we believe to be a solid foundation is nothing more than squishy noodles.

The man dreams of alchemy, a science that was founded on noodle logic if there ever was one. In that dream he sees, "Taut wires stretched across the ceiling bearing canisters of loose change as they rattled along at great pace from corner to corner for no obvious reason." Noodles or wire? Could one really tell the difference by sight alone? Considering I have personal experience with equating change with noodles, I strongly suspect noodles.

At last, we see the final insight. "The shopkeeper looked up and realised that the whole sky was crisscrossed with the wires which were bearing aeroplanes on intercontinental travel. His next dream would be one where they didnít need the wires!" A dream of a world without noodles, perhaps there is a seventh kind of dream on the horizen of the human species, a noodleless dream. One can only hope. And one can thank Des Lewis for capturing a glimmer of this dream before its time.

(I have noodles on the brain. Sorry. I could do a deadly serious critique but that's no fun, makes me feel like I'm back in school. Shudder).
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des lewis
Posted on Friday, July 20, 2007 - 06:28 am:   

Hilarious, Byron. You deserve to win, of course, but the competition is not the BEST critique (which yours is, no doubt, to date), but the most timely critique to bag this valuable book. So I hope you win, but not yet!! I hope you win with another critique! And another! And another! Blocking your own path to the prize...
Or someone else could...?
50 words are not all that many and it does not have to be a positive critique.
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des lewis
Posted on Saturday, July 21, 2007 - 12:00 am:   

Well, some time today, Byron will probably win. My own posts do not interrupt any 48 hour period of inactivity.
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Phillip Stecco
Posted on Saturday, July 21, 2007 - 11:39 am:   

"Slaughtergirl." I am astounded at what I've read. A fine metaphor, Mr. Lewis. I refuse to tear your story apart, however - that is to say - critique it or analyze it at the moment. I am just that kind of guy. Byron, I can read and write, too. Watch as I read and type and eventually critique...
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des lewis
Posted on Saturday, July 21, 2007 - 11:50 am:   

Any post that does not contain a 50 word (minimum) critique is deemed not to exist for the purpose of the 48 period of inactivity after the previous 50 word (minimum) critique - so Byron is still winning, unless...
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Saturday, July 21, 2007 - 02:55 pm:   

I'll get the fireworks and confetti, a wonderful combination full of pyromaniacal possibilities, ready....
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des lewis
Posted on Saturday, July 21, 2007 - 02:57 pm:   

Only 3.5 hours to go approx, Byron. I'm going to bed now.
The excitement is too much. It really is a beautiful book to look at and handle.
des
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Saturday, July 21, 2007 - 03:03 pm:   

Pleasant dreams.
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Saturday, July 21, 2007 - 05:52 pm:   

I'd like to thank my mother and my father and my gym teacher Mr. Stevenson's pet dog Rover King --
Oh! We still have 40 minutes or so, you say?

Well, I was just rehearsing, but if it's such a big deal to you, I'll do it silently.
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Saturday, July 21, 2007 - 06:56 pm:   

At this moment of triumph, perhaps the greatest in my life, I would say more but I find myself at a loss for words. Perhaps I wouldn't be at a loss of words if I would have been allowed to rehearse my speech out loud, though.

With that said, I'm slightly saddened at having won by being the only real contestant. I tried to stir up a little trouble, but that didn't do much good. Oh well. That just means that I shall have to make a few choice critiques and comments upon a few of the stories contained in WEIRDMONGER: THE NEMONICON: SYNCHRONISED SHARDS OF RANDOM TRUTH AND FICTION, computer and time willing, to show you what you missed.

Yeah, I'm cruel.
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Saturday, July 21, 2007 - 09:02 pm:   

Phil, do you have a link to "Slaughtergirl" so I can read it? Your limited praise has sparked my interest.

Alas, my critique on "Ribbons of Reality" which should probably more properly be called "Noodles of Reality" will now never be written. The noodle school of literary criticism shall fade into the dust of the century which is probably a good thing. The world just isn't ready for noodles, yet, except as food.
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Phillip Stecco
Posted on Saturday, July 21, 2007 - 11:02 pm:   

Congrats, Byron. Look for "Slaughtergirl" at des' Weirdmonger Wheel site. Googling should lead you there. There is much to read there. It should keep you out of trouble for a while...

Best wishes (at this thread),
Phil
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des lewis
Posted on Sunday, July 22, 2007 - 12:54 am:   

Well done, Byron. That was a great critique and a very worthy winner of the book. I shall always remember your leitmotif upon the noodles and nodules. Please claim your prize (to be posted AIR MAIL (appropriate?!), despite being advertised to be posted surface mail) at bfitzworth@yahoo.co.uk

If I do not acknowledge your claim, please email me again until I do.

Phil, thanks for your interesting and enticing interpolations on this thread.

Another chance to win this beautiful-looking book as a free 'bump-for-books' for anyone here:
http://www.nightshadebooks.com/discus/messages/8/8058.html?1185090524
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des lewis
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2007 - 07:51 am:   

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