the smoking vegans

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Dear Roseann,

In regards to your recent review of my book, I have one question: why didn't you read it? In your review you write, "Anyway, who wants to take advice from someone who tells you that while dating omnis might be okay for you, he wouldn't be caught dead doing it?" Of course, I basically say that--in the first 10 pages or so, but then I take it back for the rest of the book. One of the biggest points that the book makes is that ultimately I don't think it's a good idea to rule out dating omnis, which I did myself! After all, that's how I met my fiancée. There is no way you could have read the book and not gleaned this oh-so-basic point. None. Nada. Zilch. Nein. Non. Nyet. Had you read the book--which is, as you may have noticed, quite short--you'd know this. If you're going to write a negative review of the book, fine. Just read it first.

Now to address your concerns about the first chapter of the book, as that seems to be as far as you got, give or take some skimming and flipping.

"I don’t want to be told that what I’m reading is simply a product of the fact that the author is getting paid by the word. Way to make the people who might have actually shelled out for your book feel like a bunch of schmucks!"

That was pretty obviously a joke. Believe it or not, the book is full of them. In fact, one of the ways you know it's a joke is that it's repeated a few times, just to sap the last drop of humor from it. You'd know it was definitely a joke if you had read the book.

"Not to mention the fact that most of his 'advice' isn’t vegan-specific—which was sort of the point, wasn’t it?"

Maybe the ultimate point is that vegans are people too, and as such subject to regular-people kind of problems? Frankly, I am not too big on books geared towards vegans that are simply "vegan, vegan, vegan" the whole way through. It's been done, and it's tiresome. What else can I say about this? Sorry I didn't write a book that made you feel special enough about being vegan.

"Because what I fear is coming next is Dispatches From Hell Part 2: A Vegan’s Guide to Getting Married, Having Kids, and Retiring Early on Your Book Royalties. It will be filled with all the things you could do (but Peyser didn’t) to make those things happen. And he will still be pissed."

My book royalties? Speaking of jokes! Tofu Hound is lucky if they recover the initial costs of the book. Then, I see either pennies or at most, $1, per book sold. I'm not sure how your math is, Roseann. Mine's not so hot. But I'll tell you, from what my calculator says, 1 x 2,000 (a generous guess at how many copies this might sell) is not a whole lot of money, and definitely not what one might call considerable "book royalties"--let alone enough money to retire on. If you're curious, I make slightly below the livable wage for a single person. I can afford to pay my basic bills, and not much else. I wrote the book on a $400 used PowerBook. And while I haven't decided where the book money will go, you can rest assured that unless a dire medical situation arises, or I'm about to be evicted, the money will go to a worthy cause other than me and my groceries. Perhaps I'll donate it to the "Helping Roseann Marulli Stop Abusing Parentheses Fund." A worthy charity, to be sure.

Finally, to address your actual critique of the book, or what little of it you actually read: that I mixed formulas when I should have stuck with one. Obviously, it's your prerogative to think that. It would be more your prerogative to think that if you had read the book, but you still get to think whatever you want--even when you haven't read it. I'll let you in on a secret. I used to think the same thing, especially as I was writing it. But I realized after the fact that this mixture was one of the book's strengths. For all my retrospective concerns about the book, this is no longer one of them. Maybe, if you ever decide to read the book, you'll arrive at this conclusion as well. Maybe not.

One thing is certain: you'd know any and all of this, had you 1) actually read the book, or 2) contacted me for comment.


Monday, August 07, 2006


Book review cunts

For my thoughts on the latest review of my book by the kind folks at, listen to the latest edition of Abolition Radio.



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