Sunday, June 3, 2007

Pimping Purity Part 3: Ooh Tek, you've OBVIOUSLY had so very few girlfriends!

A few blog-posts ago I posted a list of books published in the "Every Man" christian self-help book series. I thought it would be good to let you know that those books listed aren't the only ones in the series. Yes, year after year they keep coming out with more self-help books and workbooks and CDs and DVDs and study guides and personalized Bibles and day-planners and lunchboxes and breakfast cereals, and flamethrowers, but that's not what I'm going to talk about today, oh no no noooo.

Today, it's time for a very special Judging Books by Their Covers:

First off: The Hunted, by Fred Stoeker and D.W. Smith.

The Adventure of a Lifetime
Becomes an Unimaginable Nightmare.

A thrilling new novel from the Every Man series!

John Majors and three friends–Mike, Hollis, and Dave–go to Thailand for the eco-adventure of a lifetime rafting on the Pai River. But they find more than they bargained for.
From the fleshpot temptations of Bangkok to the beautiful and terrifying environs of Northern Thailand’s vast wilderness areas, they find themselves tested at every turn. When separatist terrorists attempt to kidnap them in the wilderness, the four men are stranded deep in the jungle, pursued by gunmen toting AK-47s, and finally trapped in a cave with nowhere left to turn. If they hope to escape, they must face their deepest fears and put their lives–and their souls–on the line. Their struggle to survive, escape, and experience God’s grace through it all forms a thrilling tale of courage and endurance.
Fred Stoeker–one of the men behind the phenomenal Every Man series–and best-selling novelist D. S. Smith join forces to bring you a compelling novel that combines the action and suspense of a thriller with real-life faith and insight for God’s men.
Y'know, finding an action/adventure novel being marketed as part of a series of books designed to help men with with things like sexual-addiction and broken families is alot like finding a pez-candy in the drug-cocktail the doctor prescribed for your HIV infection.

"John Majors and three friends–Mike, Hollis, and Dave–go to Thailand for the eco-adventure of a lifetime rafting on the Pai River." An "eco-adventure"? What are they gonna do to make it an "eco-adventure"? Are they planning on collecting river-water samples? Save the endangered Mekong Giant-Catfish (albeit wrong river)? Putting their magic rings together to summon Captain Planet? What?

I think I tried a "fleshpot temptation" once. I was at an ethnic food-fair. The seasoned pork was good, but the dough was a bit too sticky for my tastes. Seriously though, who says "fleshpot temptation" anymore?

And wait! "best-selling novelist D.S. Smith"? The book's cover says it was co-authored by "D.W. Smith". If that ain't a typo, all I gotta say is that guy needs to be more creative when thinking up a nom-de-plume.

And then: The Forsaken, by Steve Arterburn and Mike Moscoe.

One man faces his worst nightmare—twice.

A thrilling new novel from the Every Man team!

Ben Taylor’s just a regular guy. Married to his beautiful Annie, with good kids, and a career that brings him great joy. But the world as he knows it suddenly shifts beneath his feet. While his job is suddenly in jeopardy, Annie gets promoted into the position of a lifetime–with a bigger salary than his…and a requirement to move across the country.
The blow to his ego, not to mention the disruption to his family, shatters Ben’s confidence in himself–and in God. But just as he comes to grips with this new reality and accepts these major changes, the unimaginable happens. His wife is kidnapped!
Desperate, Ben travels across country to help the police hunt for the kidnappers by risking his life and everything else in the process. Can he really trust the God he thought he knew to get him through this shocking twist in life? Or is he destined to be just as forsaken as he feels?
Now Stephen Arterburn–one of the men behind the phenomenal Every Man series–and bestselling novelist Mike Moscoe join forces to bring you a compelling novel that combines the action and suspense of a thriller with real-life faith and insight for God’s men.

"One man faces his worst nightmare twice"?

"Ben Taylor endures soul-crushing spiritual agony, his life has become a living hell and his family teeters on the edge of destruction, all because his wife makes more money then he does. Then suddenly his kind and loving wife is kidnapped by dangerous, bloodthirsty criminals. He finds this equally as unpleasant."

Note to the authors: Now, I'm no author of science-fiction books or books about men's psychological, relational, and sexual health where I am open and authentic enough to share stories from my past but not enough to include a bibliography or a list of of credentials that isn't vague, but can I give you a tip? Okay, here goes.

Equating your male protagonist's "worst nightmare" of being at risk of becoming a stay-at-home dad with his "worst nightmare" of his spouse being kidnapped doesn't make him a "Peter Parker", a character that the all readers can relate to (because he goes through the same everyday troubles as we do) yet allows us to partake in the joy of escapism (because he goes on adventures and "beats the bad-guys" that we ourselves cannot). It makes him a "Rayford Steele", a character the author and a select few can relate to - in your book's case; insecure men that feel threatened by both strong, assertive, mature, independent women as well as western-culture's continuously evolving gender-roles (namely child-molesters, men with small penises, repressed homosexuals, men who pick their wives from a mail-order catalog, and Promise Keepers) - but other readers will view as a total douche (examples #1, #2, and #3).

Now, keep in mind that I haven't actually read your book yet, but I know you two can fix it up before I happen to stumble across it in a House of James bargain-bin. I recommend you do something kinda like what you did with Every Woman's Desire (turning it into Every Man's Marriage, thereby making it the "tranny" of the "Every Man" series) but this time you can change more than just the title. And while you're at it, see if you can do anything about Smith's initials on the cover of The Hunted.

1 comment:

Hysterical Woman said...

Actually, if you read the newspaper comic, Ben is a Peter Parker character.