A Turkish woman takes umbrage at the misrepresentation of Turkey in Christopher Pike's novel The Secret of Ka. She posts a review on Amazon (and another one on LJ at bookfails) talking about her complaints with the book.
Then, a man claiming to be one of Christopher Pike's editors shows up to westsplain her own culture to her. Also he decides that she's been threatening to cut off the author's hands.
1) It's okay for a major character to have an Indian name! He started off being Ahmed but readers liked this other name better. Also, Amesh sounds a lot like Ahmed. Same difference!
2) Turkish, Kurdish, Arab ... it's all a matter of perspective! Who's to say whether a Turkish person is Arab or not? (Not you because I know more about your own ethnic background than you do.)
3) But all those people he wrote about who dress strangely and have foreign names and address their grandfathers by unusual titles are supposed to be weird! We didn't misrepresent Turkish culture at all! It's just that all of those characters are supposed to be iconoclasts or hipsters or something. Yeah.
4) I totally saw a guy wearing a turban in Turkey once! Also, taxi drivers in London and New York wear turbans. (???)
5) All cultures even tangentially related to Islam and the Middle East are segregated, war-torn, and insanely conservative. It's illegal to swear and nobody sits near women and bloody wars are waged outside of the Hilton every night. :(
6) I'm just never going to address the fact that you're offended and feel that your culture was used like a dirty rag at all!
7) u mad :(
Ah, I remember well the Turkish capital, Istanbul, that desert city.
I nicked this from a mouse at wank_report (thank you mousey!)
ETA: A clever person on Amazon dug up proof that the "editor" Michael Brite is actually a sockpuppet of Christopher Pike himself. He seems to mostly use the account to leave worshipful reviews of his own books. Seriously:
Perhaps The Best Book I Have Ever Read
Christopher Pike's "Thirst" is a masterpiece. The book is not only a fantastic thriller, a mind boggling mystery, but a spiritual revelation. Alisa is a five thousand year old vampire who kills as casually as she makes love. Yet there remains deep within her a painful and yet abiding memory and love for a man she met when she was young, a man who may have been more than a man -- the mysterious Lord Krishna from the Bhagavad Gita, the equivalent of the Indian Bible. However, please do not get the idea this book is about religion. Pike's novel is totally free of dogma. He never says Krishna is God, and his heroine is never sure who Krishna truly is. Also, he is careful not to offend anyone's faith. But there is a heart breaking passage where two of the main characters debate the existence of God. They soon come to the conclusion that "God" is impossible to define or know, but whatever Krishna was, he was too powerful, and too beautiful, to disobey. And that leads to the crux of the story. The master vampire who has created Alisa must destroy all the vampires to gain salvation. Yet, ironically, Krishna has promised Alisa she will have his protection if she obeys him and never creates another vampire. It is the clash of these two contradictory vows that stands at the heart of this brilliant novel. Reading it, I felt I was given an insight into the mystery of life itself. Why, for every good impulse in the world, is there an opposing evil? Yet Pike tells this incredible morality play without preaching. In fact, I suspect most people who read the book will simply enjoy it because it is a kick-ass novel about the most intense character in all of modern fiction. I am trying to say "Thirst" is so much more than a vampire book. It is ultimately a timeless fable of how fear can change to hatred, and then to love, and finally mature into devotion. Pike has managed a small miracle by showing us that these emotion are not truly at odds with each other. For they all reside in every human heart, in the same way, perhaps, the divine does as well. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It changed my life forever.
ETA again: Christopher Pike has now made an impressively paranoid post on a website of his accusing the original Amazon reviewer (caligirl_08) of posting negative reviews under multiple aliases, as well as claiming that bookfails is a "livejournal community sponsored by someone of Turkish background who has taken things much too far and is trying to rob fiction authors of their artistic license".
Dear Author has also caught wind of this (last item on the page).
But wait, there's more!
caligirl_08 (bs_08 on bookfails) tackles Pike's aforementioned sexy vampire novel, Thirst. It ... well, I'm just going to leave this here:
Initial post: Nov. 7, 2009 3:08 AM PST
Michael Brite says:
It says clearly in the book that Sita was an Aryan, a well known group who invaded India five thousand years ago. They were all blond and blue-eyed.
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