A dreadful debut! The author shamelessly mocks all the values our society holds dear: family, love, work. Her cynical undertone is disturbing and demoralizing. Keep this book out of the reach of children!
(Dora Prude, The Happy Family Daily, London)
In Family Blog Clary Antome treats us to a journey through the foibles of family life (and human nature generally) in a novel set out in the form of a series of blog entries written by the dramatis personae that make up the fictional Family D..
Full of incisive observations, and shot through with the dark humor that flows from Antome's unique perspective on the absurdities of the human condition, Family Blog made me laugh until I cried. It is a remarkable first novel by a very promising writer.
(David Livingstone Smith, PhD -- Author of Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind and The Most Dangerous Animal: Human Nature and the Origins of War)
The novel is a covert celebration of junkies and slackers. Nobody gets any enjoyment unless theyíre high or whining. Worst of all, though, is the authorís light-handed treatment of her story. As if everything was one big joke.
Well, I ainít laughing !
Iíve got one piece of advice for Clary Antome: get yourself a proper job for a change, young lady. It will teach you the value of life.
(Jeremy Sternest, Moralist Political Journal, New York)
The promises of open-minded characters and illicit sex are overblown. I was disappointed to find so little nudity and explicit acts of copulation.
(Jonathan Coarse, Perversions for the Bored, Toronto)
Spiritually this novel is a failure. The characters at times appear so hopeless, it made me wince. Their blogs invariably revolve around a handful of leitmotivs, such as watching TV, eating, shopping, consuming drugs. Furthermore, I got the impression that the author is not at all able to distinguish between these superficialities and the more noble acts she mentions, such as finding love, raising children, engaging in meaningful work, fighting for freedom and democracy. Whatever the characters do seems to be just another failed attempt to avoid boredom. I presume that most readers will be disgusted by this farce. Fortunately.
(Sabine Hoffer, Rosa Brille: Magazin fŁr seelische Gesundheit, Berlin)
Actually, I quite enjoyed some of the practical tips provided by the father, the only male blog writer in the novel. Some good ideas the chap has. Especially regarding recreational explosions. Right on! The mother isnít bad either, though a tad too sentimental for my taste. But at least sheís got a good story to tell, about war in Africa. I learned quite a bit. It makes the reader appreciate the comfort of a safe European home all the more. But those bloody daughters are absolutely annoying! No sense of direction, no motivation, no balls! Itís obviously a book about the generation gap. And Iíd say the parents have won that battle by far.
(Tom Elder, International Handymenís Book Club, Sheffield)
If you ask me, Clary Antome is just some anarcho-punk frustrated lesbian. This would explain the terribly wimpy or stupidly brutish male characters who always fail to live up to the arrogant femalesí expectations. I found her novel very castrating. Totally uncool.
(Ronny Mann, Brain and Muscle Ezine, New York)
Rarely have I come across such an extreme case of misogyny: all the female characters in this novel are manic-depressive, neurotic or frigid. Not to mention the countless sneering sexist remarks! This dehumanization of women could only have been carried out by an embittered and sadistic male writer.
(Margaret Noble, Female Front Journal, Chicago)
This is not a novel, it's an accountantís nightmare! Virtually every page has a reference to finances: the characters are only concerned with making, wasting, gambling, or even cheating other people out of their money.
Are we really supposed to believe that life boils down to such vile calculating instincts?
Clary Antome has not shown the slightest ability or interest in truly exploring the diversity of human feelings and potentialities. In the end, she seems to be suggesting that everyone is greedy, traitorous and self-centred.
I would recommend that you skip this novel and turn to a good lifestyle magazine or romantic movie instead. At least they will brighten up your day!
(Gwen Goodness, Smile, Please! TV Show, Dublin)
The idea of writing a novel in blog-form is very cool, but Clary Antome ruined it. Not only did she not explore the possibilities of the web (paste some photos, include some links, make it all more colourful and dynamic!), but the blogs in her novel areÖ well, not really blogs, right? I mean, you canít even add comments or kudos or anything! Plus, I think she could have created far cooler characters, with really exciting lives. I mean, thereís lots of things going on in the novel, like war and strip-clubs and cops and love-affairs and something about aliens, I think. It might look cool in a movie. But there arenít any dialogues, which really makes reading so slow. Plus the more thoughtful and ironic bits were a bit of a bummer to follow.
I guess the book is supposed to have a message, but not something cool like a secret magic code or whatever. A moreÖ philosophical message (pardon my French). Thatís the whole problem, Clary Antome expects her readers to think!
Iíve got better things to do with my time.
(Missy T.ís blog Cool and Uncool Stuff, San Francisco)
The characters are either manipulative or nitpicking or hopelessly naÔve. All attempts at emancipation are continually frustrated by ironic twists of fate, as if people had no control over their lives. Clary Antome is the kind of subversive writer that should best be avoided. Her fiction will not offer any answers to those of us who are trying to make this world a better place. Apparently, she has already thrown the battle.
I would strongly advise against a translation. Our country has enough problems as it is.
(Jean-Pierre Avant, Le Petit Gauche, Paris)
The Clary Antome I know has nothing to do with this purported author of ĎFamily Blogí, which I have only partially read. I didnít get any of the jokes Ė and the characters were so strange! They are obviously a figment of the authorís imagination, nobody in her family even remotely resembles those people in the novel. In fact, I didnít think that the family was very realistically portrayed.
Clary was such a nice girl when she was little, always obedient and attentive. Never a mean thought. I donít know what went wrong. We did our best to raise her into a fine young lady. I honestly think that she was influenced by the vicious ideas in all those books sheís always reading. We should have made her watch more TV.
(Matilda Antome, mother of the purported author, Useless Gossip-Radio PPP, Rio de Janeiro)
Sublimely crafted, romantically hopeful, surprising, fantastically entertaining, ĎLife, I Love Ití is a remarkable novel by a young, promising writer. So why the hell should you bother reading ĎFamily Blogí, instead?
(Sarah Faith, Sunshine Literary Review, Los Angeles)