Friday, June 1, 2012

Speculative Review of the Week: The Lady is a Champ by Carol Polis & Rich Herschlag

As a reviewer, I'm constantly receiving emails from all over the place with requests to review a variety of books...and I've noticed the vast majority of the requests I get are to review the most tragic looking memoirs.  I've also noticed a trend in the many press releases that flood my inbox.  I like to call this trend "shock and schlock." The adversity faced by the memoirist is pitched as "shocking" and "tragic," and the contents of the press release are thoroughly schlocky, relying too heavily on cheap emotional pandering.   So I've decided to go out on a limb and write a speculative review of some of the memoirs sent my way based on cover art and pitch letters.

This week's pick:  The Lady is a Champ by Carol Polis and Rich Herschlag

Title:  -4  (for the awful Sinatra song title appropriation) 

Cover art: -5  See what they did there? It's about boxing.  But it's pink.  Because she's a lady.  How original...

Writerly chops/street cred: -5  Polis has no previous publications that I could find, and it looks like "collaborative writing" (or ghost writing) is Herschlag's thing.  Also, judging by his previous work, I think it's safe to assume he came up with the title:

Shock: How adverse the adversity?  -5   Not super shocking.  According to the press release, Polis was the first woman professional boxing judge.  Yes, she broke into and was successful in a male-dominated profession which is significant, but I'm not really sure I count having a vagina as a form of adversity.  

Schlock: How triumphal the triumph?   -5   To quote the pitch letter, Polis triumphed against "long odds."  Not sure I've heard the phrase turned quite that way before.  And those long odds were, again, vaginally-centric.  

God factor: +5  Seems relatively god-talk free.  (Just a matter of personal taste, I like my memoirs light on the preaching and relatively Jesus free).  

Alternate title:  She Hits Like a Girl:One Woman's Triumph Over Having a Vagina.

Highly scientific speculative tolerablility rating: -19

1 comment:

  1. You are smarmy. You didn't even read the book. How utterly unfair and presumptuous. Get a life, you pretentious hipster doofus. If you were any good at what YOU do, you be working for a larger publisher and wouldn't have time to clog the internet with another self-serving, useless narcissistic "blog".