What early readers said
about "COLDCOCKED"

Note: What follows is a letter that I ran on my website announcing COLDCOCKED and inviting readers to send for a free PDF copy.

At the end of the letter are 17 responses from 13 early readers. They were lightly edited to correct typos and break up very long sentences. Otherwise, they are reproduced in full. The words are entirely the respondents'.

Skip this letter and go
directly to the 17 reviews

YOURS FREE!

You are invited to download a PDF copy
of Denny Hatch's new unpublished novel

Dear Friend,

As a writer, I find that occasionally stories bubble up inside my brain that I have to liberate by writing them down.

Such was the case back in the 1970s with "Cedarhurst Alley," "The Fingered City" and "The Stork"--all of which were published in hardcover and later, as mass-market paperbacks.

Recently "COLDCOCKED: A Novel of 7 Murders, he Media and the Law," rumbled into my consciousness and I worked on it on and off over the past few years. It is now finished, and I have no idea whether it is good or lousy.

My wonderful agent, Marvin Moss died a long time ago, so I am sans agent and have no contacts in the book-publishing world.

With 200,000 new book titles being published every year (roughly 555 a day!), finding an agent and publisher is a monumental task and a huge pain in the butt.

If "COLDCOCKED" is good--really good--I will go through the hassle. If lousy, then the hell with it; I will have gotten it out of my system I can get on with my life.

Frankly, I'd very much appreciate your opinion.

If you will click on the link below, I will send you the new novel in a PDF format, and ask only that if get back to me with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

Hopefully, it's a thumbs-down. I really don't want to go through with this.

Thanks so much for your help.

Sincerely,
Denny Hatch
Denny Hatch


From A.D.

It’s been several months since you sent me the PDF to download, but I recently sat down to read the novel and I loved it! First, the medicine, my only criticism: it needs editing.

Given the serious subject matter, I understand the need for all the exposition on the racial background and history to explain to the reader why he was accused as he was. It does serve to frame the situations, to make the reader familiar with the times, to make it ring true--which it definitely does. But it still needs trimming. Then again, The Fingered City and Cedarhurst Alley had a fair amount of exposition as well, and they were not long novels. But with all three, because of your skill in spinning wildly unpredictable yet satisfying stories, I was eager to find out what happens next, and the exposition was frustrating to me. You also sound a tad didactic in this one, perhaps as a result of the serious nature of this story. Perhaps the novel’s scenario is personal, based on fact? It feels personal, close to your heart in some way.

Yes, Coldcocked is more serious than your prior ones, but it has all the same good qualities. It’s serious and hilarious. Plus I love the quotations, the exceedingly creative adjective descriptions, the little anecdotes and factoids, the name-dropping. It is such a sad story, though. Despite the funny parts, it is not light reading, but I did enjoy it. You definitely conveyed the flavor of the times and the situations. It all sounds very authentic. The conception, structure and writing are all excellent. I like the chapter breaks, the back and forth with the reporters. While I have expressed praise with less particularity than the in-depth comments of the other reviewers, which I have seen on your site, I echo their praise. In all these novels, you have obviously done a great deal of research.

Bottom line: Coldcocked deserves publication. I am almost through The Stork, which is, of course, a riot. As in the others books, you are delightfully insane and your scenarios are outrageous. "The Great Smegma" huh? I know what that word means and I love to use it with people who do not know its meaning. It has such a great sound. Though I doubt I have made any new suggestions for you, thank you for giving me the opportunity to read your novel. I truly hope you find a publisher. I wish you all the very best.

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From B.K. (A friend for 50 years and have not seen in 20)

OK Denny, I’ve finished the book and here’s what I think.

First of all despite the annoyance of having to scroll through the book on my laptop computer, I did find that after not too many pages I was hooked on the story. Of course I was distracted by knowing you and some of the book’s references, but the story is wonderfully told. All the information is fascinating, particularly your analysis of current media personalities and your charges against them. Nina Totenberg? Tell me it can’t be true.

And then, who better than you to lead readers through the intricacies of direct response, public relations and media analysis and manipulation. The black leaders were deservedly skewered. I don’t think Bob Abramson has ever gotten over Tawana Brawley.

Not surprisingly I was anxious to find the circumstances under which someone might confess to killing six black kids. I had no problem sympathizing with Kilgore (KILL GORE!) after his dog was knifed and killed and his home destroyed, indeed I was outraged at all the destruction, but by the end of the book I’d had enough of Kilgore and his three-Stoli rule. He may have been smart or logical, but he was so in your face, so pleased with himself, so material, so vulgar, that he became, well, irritating. His $100 per talk in strip joints was just plain bizarre.

And the Matt Drudge interview and the betrayal of Kilgore’s women followed by Kilgore’s breakdown and accusations were difficult to believe. Yes, yes, I know. Too much to drink. The grand jury woman was great. I just couldn’t believe she’d ever say, “Quit pounding moonbeams up our ass.” By the way [my wife] was on a grand jury that turned down an assistant DA who then, just as you suggested, pulled the case. The jury was furious. [My wife] wrote a letter.

Eventually someone addressed the subject with the jury. I don’t remember all the details. Look, I liked the story, the pace, the writing, and most of Kilgore’s contrarian ideas. I couldn’t turn it off.

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From R.A.

This story needed to be told, and you told it well.

This manuscript needs to be published, and I hope you will.

I give it a thumbs up. Based on the content and story line, you will make some friends publishing it. Probably more enemies. Some will probably even give you a hand gesture, but I doubt they will be using their thumb. My gut feeling is that their opinions are of no interest or consequence to you. At least that is how you should feel.

To be honest, I was not overly captivated by the 1st chapter. I was not captivated until:

"Gripping the slide handle, Donn pumped it slowly, the silver covering of the ejection port disappeared with a satisfying series of clicks and snaps, exposing the sinister dark firing chamber within."

That along with the description of the gun and tackle shop tells me you have been inside one or two. The descriptive precision of this sentence caught my attention. It was clean. It was precise. Why do I feel the supporting characters were less interesting and provocative? Was it due to the strength of Donn Kilgore as a character that made them seem so?

I would have liked to meet Donn Kilgore. I think what makes this such a powerful story and a good read is summed up in a quote by one of my favorite writers. It may not be verbatim as I did not look it up. "I have such a love and respect for man, and such disgust, disdain, and contempt for mankind.” —Ayn Rand

Bottom line, it’s a very good read. With a little massaging, it should be a great read. Let me know when it comes out in hard cover. Once again, thank you.


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From W.F. (Friend of DH & PH of 30 years)

Denny, I finished COLDCOCKED on the plane back to MSP on Friday.

It was an enjoyable read, entertaining, with I presumed to be a fair amount of history about Philly’s n... Greek weekend, the chaos that follows, and a “politically correct” government forever running for reelection. (I abhor the profession of politics and those who make it their whole career).

I could guess the outcome by the end of the first chapter so a mystery it wasn’t. I also thought that the political and philosophical outbursts by Donn were in many ways your own opinions. Same for the reviews of the media, and the principal news characters. Believing that it was a bit personal I gave the hard copy to Kathy as I think she will enjoy it too. It was more fun knowing you were the author.

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From S.F.

Denny, Thanks for the ride. I started it this Saturday night and did not want to put it down. I finished last night at midnight.

Suspenseful, timely, fun and even educational I learned more about TV talk/news than I ought to know. I consider myself more of a liberal than a conservative, but I found myself relating to and actually liking Donn Kilgore.

I’ve also got a mighty thirst for something with Stoli in it. THUMBS UP!

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From J.M.

I love the subject matter, think you are onto something, and believe your new novel has real potential. My one suggestion is that I think it takes too long to get to the action. While I enjoy all the local references, I was getting bogged down in descriptions and history, while waiting for something exciting to happen. You’re the novelist, I’m not. But I wondered if there might be a way to get more action and dialogue in quicker, to move it faster.

And I’m not sure you need the subhead on the front. Or, you might want to make it more interesting, like:

7 murders, 1 suspect, 10 days of hell. As it is, the subhead stopped me almost immediately. A novel that says it is about the media and the law sounds more like a textbook to me. Just one man’s opinion. (And, as you know, everybody’s got one.)

I hope my comments help in some small way. Best of luck with Coldcocked. You’ve obviously done a huge amount of work on it.

As it is, the subhead stopped me almost immediately. A novel that says it is about the media and the law sounds more like a textbook to me.

Just one man's opinion. (And, as you know, everybody's got one.)

I hope my comments help in some small way. Best of luck with Coldcocked. You've obviously done a huge amount of work on it.

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From J.S.
1st E-mail

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant, Mr. Hatch.

I am not an avid reader of fiction. But this book is everything I wish more fiction could be. I don’t know if this is the first book to portray that particular type of story, but it is incredibly well written, entertaining, and obviously comes from the mind of someone in tune with the media. I need time to digest.

Expect to receive more detailed feedback from me sometime within the next few days. Most graciously yours.

From J.S.
2nd E-mail

Mr. Hatch, below are my unedited thoughts regarding “Coldcocked.” There is, as they say, more where that came from, but I feel I’ve expressed the bulk of it. – Donn Kilgore is an ordinary man. He’s wealthier than most. He’s wilier than many. He’s eccentric and has some seemingly unique interests and unpopular beliefs. But he is in no way outlandish caricature, or unbelievable miscreant. He is, from the start, an almost entirely sympathetic and likable character. He is believable.

Believability is at Coldcocked’s core. Nothing is outlandish – Hendon Chait may be inexperienced as a public spokesperson, but he has the background and training to quickly take on the role. Ted Kripps is a PR neophyte, but his livelihood involves public speaking and thinking on his feet, so he quickly adapts to television. “BB” Moses may seem a stereotypical character, but individuals matching the stereotype are all too common.

The events of and following the Mowbray Street Massacre play out just as one would expect to see it played out in the media – with a twist: the protagonist, being more of a media junkie than the average American, has the uncanny [ability] to twist the media to make himself look good. It seems almost unreal that Donn, angry but at times seemingly insurmountable in his will and his wit, will die at the end of the story. However, as the story progresses the reader learns that, in fact, everything that gave Donn his life was destroyed the night of the Mowbray Street Massacre.

Donn was already dead. Quite simply, Donn’s possessions were his life. That’s not to say he was materialistic; quite the opposite often seemed true. To Donn, money was important because it was a means to an end; it catalyzed his happiness, but was not the source of it. When the six “non-Greeks” slashed paintings, tore books, and smashed bottles, they in fact destroyed all that Donn had worked so hard to ultimately provide to others. Even their very deaths directly affected his possessions. Aside from the property damage and resultant biohazardous conditions, his girls – *his* girls, and therefore in a way more of his possessions – were taken from him. Together, Donn and the reader followed the ten-day post mortem leading to Donn’s discovery of his own demise. And once he learned of it, he did the one thing he wished to do seemingly more than anything else: He gave to people.

As thanks for the rollercoaster ride that made him a hero to the American public, he gave the media the greatest possible gift – a blazing, glorious end that would leave people talking for who knows how long, and would undoubtedly fuel incessant debate. He gave the media what it wanted all along: A brilliant story with a spectacular ending. As a reader, the only real question in my mind following the ending: Had he been drinking before he took his final drive, or did he wish to leave this world the same way he entered it: stone cold sober? Earlier, he commented that he never drives when drunk. Knowing it was the end of his story, did he want to see what it was like, knowing he wouldn’t experience legal repercussions? Or was he sober so he could be in total control until the end, lest he inadvertently take someone else’s life in the process?

I did notice one minor potential consistency flaw: During the events of the shooting, Donn’s glasses are covered in paint so he grabs a pair of reading glasses. Later, it’s revealed that Donn is legally blind without his glasses. A reader could assume that Donn wears bifocals, since he owns reading glasses. But if he normally wears bifocals, his reading glasses probably wouldn’t have provided the necessary distance vision to shoot his assailants. A minor gripe, really. Donn owned many pairs of glasses, so his “reading glasses” could potentially have been his “regular” prescription in a squatter frame. As is typical of me, I took note of occasional typographical errors and the like. (A misplaced comma, transposed words, etc.) If you’d like, I can either write out their pages/locations or possibly fax/mail copies of my markings. Also, in one of my many concurrent lives I am a professional graphic designer. If you have any interest in seeing my take on a book jacket/cover, I am at your service; some ideas came to me over the course of the book. I feel I am already in your debt for having previewed such a fine piece of work. Finally, I wanted to mention that some friends of friends are published science fiction writers. If it would help, I could ask around to see if they could recommend any literary agents. Once again, thank you for the privilege of previewing such a wonderful book. The last piece of fiction I read was “The DaVinci Code” (a mostly unintentional read), and “Coldcocked” was a substantially more entertaining and intelligent story.

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From J.P.
1st E-mail

I’m only on page 130, but am loving it more each page.

I am totally involved in the characters. Now it feels like I am reading a Tom Wolfe novel, and I mean that as the highest compliment. Wolfe is my favorite author, both fiction and non-fiction. Have you read “A Man in Full?” Kilgore has the same “bigger than life” and outrageous personality as the protagonist (my aging brain can’t remember his name) in Wolfe’s book.

I am laughing with him, cringing at his bold statements, while rooting for him wholeheartedly. He is a totally lovable, outrageous hero. I can’t wait to discover his fate. I am hoping he prevails in his struggle and hands the villains their comeuppance on a silver offering plate. I will be very mad at you if you don’t pursue this one. It is a great inside commentary on the media business, a classic tale of good versus evil and a chance for everyone to hear Kilgore say what’s been on their minds. It is very timely considering the Duke Lacrosse fiasco. Now is the time to strike.

Go for it! Go for it! More later.

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From J.P.
2nd E-mail

Maybe it’s the Margarita I just finished, but I am laughing out loud (LOL as the kids say these days in their text messaging). Page 167 where Kilgore ‘s response to the Hall of Fame’s questionnaire -- What do you like to do best when you’re not working? And then the hemorrhoid (that’s one for spell check isn’t it?) quote. Who isn’t rooting for this guy? You are building momentum here, big time.

This is beginning to look like movie stuff -- The courtroom scenes in My Cousin Vinny come to mind. I have taken the liberty of inviting a few of my friends to download the book. I hope you don’t mind. With your permission, I would also like to print a few copies and send them to my technically-challenged reading friends who would probably not know how to complete a download and print, but who are still dear friends, despite their obvious online handicaps. Please indicate below if I have permission to do this:

[ ]YES! You may print Coldcocked and distribute to your carefully chosen friends.

[ ]No, I am afraid of success, but please keep me on your mailing list. Warm regards.

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From J.P.
3rd E-mail

Finished the book last evening. I didn’t want it to end. The phone message was a nice touch, though - brought to mind Slim Pickens riding the A-bomb in Dr. Strangelove.You have got to pursue this. It is very, very special.
My husband, Chick, started reading and he too said your writing reminds him of Tom Wolfe. He hardly ever reads fiction, so you are reaching a tough market segment here. Of course he is a middle-aged, pro-choice, conservative news junkie, so I am not at all surprised.

I am going to reread The Fingered City. I enjoyed it years ago (you sent it to me in 1994!) but don’t remember being so completely smitten as I was with Coldcocked. But I was suffering from a chronic depression at the time, so it was difficult to be ebullient about anything. Fortunately I have completely recovered and am my normal manic self once again. I found a few typos that spellcheck missed and I will forward along to you shortly. Save a signed First Edition for me. Warm regards.

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From: B.A.

Mr. Hatch,

Thank you for sending me the PDF of your unpublished book, Coldcocked. It sat on my hard drive for a while, waiting for me to get the time to read it, but I finally grabbed some time the past few days.

You wanted my thoughts on the book. I’m no book reviewer, but I could probably put together a coherent discussion of the book, if I had the time. Unfortunately, I have very little of that to spare. But I have jotted down a few pages of notes as I read through the book and have reproduced them at random below.

First off, I enjoyed the book thoroughly. It took me a while to get into it at first. But it’s the same for most novels I read. I need to re-read the first few pages, usually, to get the characters’ names and a mental picture firmly in my mind. If I can do that, I can usually breeze through a book quickly if it’s decently written.

The first thing that grabbed me was your description of Greek Weekend. My family used to vacation at Virginia Beach every year and they had a similar event on Labor Day. We were never there during that time, but I used to talk to some of the merchants and they used to dread seeing it come.

You may remember one year they had to call out the National Guard (I believe) to put down a small riot that had started there. My wife and I stood watching the TV coverage in amazement. I couldn’t tell you whether there was no event the following year, but I do know that at the least it wasn’t of the strength it was in previous years. Your character, Donn Kilgore, was fascinating. You don’t see many men that will stand up for their convictions the way he did. I’m assuming he was Libertarian, for the most part.

I also think you’re probably part Donn Kilgore and Hendon Chait, since their characters seemed to have been painstakingly developed and authors usually put some of their self into their characters. I can usually see Stephen King somewhere in many of his novels. The whole PC-government-media character of the story was mainly what kept me reading, though. Our country has deteriorated into a fight between special interest groups with no regard for anyone else but themselves and your story illustrated that incredibly well. You also contrasted the difference between culture (in Donn) and unculture (in the hoodlums) perfectly.

The total lack of respect and hatred that unculture has for culture seems to intensify as time goes on. I was jolted midway through the book when you revealed that Donn was going to die. I can’t remember the exact place, but I almost read right past it without noticing. It was a good device. I don’t know what the moral of the story was (were you going for one?), but maybe it’s something like what we saw in 1984 – your thoughts and actions will not be your own; those in power will ultimately tell you how to act and how to think; and if you resist we will break you. I guess they broke Donn and there was nothing for him to live for ultimately. I guess he did escape, though, unlike Winston. Other random thoughts:

First 10 pages drew me in reasonably well. Why? It’s a murder, it’s an unusual murder, it’s a multiple murder. There’s a reporter – a writer, a sympathetic character. Story flows smoothly. Guy’s in blackface – arouses curiosity. * The dialogue where Kilgore is being questioned on his hatred of Japan, Germany, and China was very good and went very fast.

* The analysis of what’s wrong with the African-American community is very interesting. The recount of the black culture and welfare system rings true.

* “Treemonisha” – I was mildly interested in Scott Joplin at some point, but didn’t know he had written an opera. I was able to go out and get samples immediately on Amazon while I was reading that part. Isn’t the Internet wonderful?

* Outrage of the destruction of his art and history collection is described in mournful detail. A feeling of tragedy is expertly woven here.
* I loved the Jim Fixx reference. Read his book way back when and was into running for a short time – then he died.

Question: what was this guy thinking living right in town with such a valuable art, history, and wine collection? With such irreplaceable value, did he have no notion that a burglary might happen at some point?

* I love the list of news programs, reporters, etc. that can’t be trusted. Could you really publish the book with all the remarks about the commentators?

* I liked the description of Kilgore to the grand jury, especially when he ordered the menu backwards in the restaurant. I laughed out loud.

* Didn’t know refdesk.com was owned by Drudge’s father – interesting.

* I have the book “The Slave Trade”. Haven’t read it yet. Probably will, now that you’ve referenced it. To finish up on this hodge-podge of thoughts, let me say that your book was one of the most enjoyable reads (despite having to read it on my screen, mostly - I have Picard’s syndrome, you know) that I’ve had in a while. As I said, I’m not a critic, but I thought it was very well written and thought out.

Your copywriting skills were showing all over here. The slippery slide that all sales letters should have was constructed well here. Once I started down, there was no stopping until the bottom. I knew your writing previously only from your marketing books (three of them) and a few of your newsletters. Now I also have respect for your abilities to write fiction, as well. I can also see that you are very well read and cultured. I’ll now have to read all of your newsletters instead of just the occasional one.

Do I think the book would sell? I think it would to people like me, but how do you think the general public would react? It probably would stir up a lot of controversy and maybe that would make it sell even better. I’m sorry if this got a little long winded, but since you provided the book for free, I felt it was my obligation to give you as much feedback as I could. I hope some of it is useful. Thanks again, and good luck with the book if you decide to publish.

Regards,
B.A.

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From L.G.P.

Dear Mr. Hatch,

First of all, I’m amazed that I’ve got the opportunity to contact the writer of a novel I read some years ago: “The Fingered City”, unfortunately it was the Spanish version translated as “El Candidato” (The Candidate) but I enjoyed the story anyway, and when I found your Web site and I saw your offer of reading your newest work (for free) I didn’t think twice. Well, when I started I was expecting something as good as “City” and it didn’t disappoint me; I must say that I found it really good, definitely a thumps-up; it is catching and reflects the impact of media in our lives. I would like to give you my reasons for my opinion:

First, the historical background encourages the reader to go further. (I had no idea about the MOVE and Mumia incidents), second, the information about the Greek Weekend and other aspects that are avoided in other works, like the cleaning of crime scenes and racism controversies (well documented here) and finally, the characters, Monk and Moses are easy to hate and one sympathizes with Kilgore (I was shocked about how many times Kilgore’s points of view resemble mine, even though I’m just 24) and Janet Willson. I have some questions; in page 83 Kilgore says something like “get Big Casino”, I don’t understand the expression (maybe because I am not a native English speaker, thus my poor writing).

Another issue I found is that the title reads “A novel of 7 murders, the media and the law” but I count only six; I have the feeling I missed something there. I also found strange the fact that Oliver North appears both in the No and Yes lists (No in MSNBC and Yes in Syndicated Radio), but Kilgore does not make it clear why and Chait doesn’t ask about it too.
More personally found intriguing how do authors come up with so many names and catching titles? When I was at school I found it so difficult that it took me most of the time when assignments of literature were about creating stories. I just want to say thank you for allowing me to read your book and I think it is worth to (as you say) go through the hassle of publishing, who knows, it could even turn out to be a very good movie too.

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From M.D. (A friend of many years)

Denny -

I can’t remember whether you asked for candor, or not, but hoping that our friendship can withstand this, here goes.

Plot, plot, plot are the three most important elements of crime stories, I’m told, with characterization and dialogue as useful accomplices, if they’re fast on their feet. You’ve got all five in spades but not, in my untutored opinion, a publishable novel.

Why? Because you have only one (overdeveloped and fatally flawed) character, and most of the others have little dimension except for the neighborhood itself. By “overdeveloped” I’m referring to Donn’s propensity to give baths of wisdom (or show off) to the unwashed, repeatedly, even after we’ve been scrubbed several times and duly noted this characteristic; to reel off the same brand names repeatedly, well after it’s abundantly clear that Donn is label conscious and materialistic, and has the money it takes times 100; to go out of his way to construct a stage for his aphorisms; to take over the novel and make it a setting for his gigantic flawed gem.

By that I mean that he’s given us hints of Voltaire, Bierce, Twain, Wilde, Mencken, Churchill and Donald Trump without anything to make us care for him. Yes, we’re sympathetic enough to enough of the aspects of his plight (while being unsympathetic to some of his outrageousness, as we’re supposed to be), but that doesn’t mean that we care about him. And if we don’t care about the characters in a novel, they’re just other commuters passing through Grand Central Station.

I think that holds for satire, too.

On the other hand, there’s a lot of very good stuff here, the kinds of wit and acerbic insights you’ve packaged in the satirical figure of Donn, your talent in making the scene come alive within the larger context of a typically corrupt city (nation?), the historical perspective that makes it understandable, and much more. I’m not sure about film, but I’m certain that the brightest of the leading lights on Broadway would fight to the death for the role of Donn. Would that Richard Burton lived!

Thanks for the read. It was fun. Next time you’re up this way, I’ll buy you lunch at Chez Louis by way of making amends. We’ll wash it down with a ‘95 Chateau Gloria, a great year for an unclassified growth that frequently exceeds all expectations. All the best.

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From P.W.

Thank you for letting me read Coldcocked. I enjoyed it quite a lot. The ideas that you raise in the novel were very interesting. Donn’s running commentary on the media and media personalities, not to mention race and class issues were simply great. The novel hits these issues right on the nose, boldly dissecting these problems with an honesty that I wish were more often in our civic discussions. What’s more, I really love the way you write: it’s so very tight. Not an excess word to be found.

On the other hand, I also found your succinctness a negative. While, as I say, I enjoyed this for the ideas, I never was engaged by the characters or the plot. No character other than Donn was flushed out and his portrait was so matter-of-factly drawn that I never really cared about him. You attempted to bring in other characters - the narrator, the DA, the woman on the jury who saves the day - but there was not enough there to make them real. The set-up was quite good, but the conclusion was weak. It felt like you were using the format of a novel as a vehicle to express commentary, not to tell a good story - which it seems to be has to be at the heart of the novel the form before all else. Thank you again. Hope my comments were useful.

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From A.P.

Just finished reading COLDCOCKED. Wow! A truly wonderful look at the ironies of media, law and politics. My only critique as a writer (and an avid novel-inhaler) would be the slow lead-in. Too much backstory up front lost me. As in copywriting, ya gotta grab ‘em by the eyeballs right from the beginning or risk losing them forever, and a bored reader is unforgiving. However, your excellent treatment of the story from where the action starts to take place is brilliant--really great—and after that I couldn’t put it down.

I would start the action from the get-go...lead in with the kids breaking the window and crawling into the house, even killing the dog--maybe even do that from the dog’s limited pov--really hook the reader so they can’t wait to see what happens next before you get into any backstory, and keep that to a minimum. You don’t need nearly as much as you put in to flesh out the characters. Kill your babies! But then again, what do I know? Besides copywriting, I haven’t published anything longer than short stories and magazine articles, and my own novel languishes unfinished in a drawer...All in all, a great work. Enthusiastic thumbs up. Any ideas on when you would publish? Or do you think that would incite a “cultural backlash” that would have you looking over your shoulder as you walk down Market Street in Philly?

Also, loved some of the names...especially Goodnough and Kilgore. A little tongue in cheek there?

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From B.C.

I just finished reading COLDCOCKED. I rarely read fiction, but I really enjoyed your book. With all your references to current-day newscasters and historical events, I had to keep reminding myself that I was reading a work of fiction. Should you go down what you say is a rough road to have Coldcocked published? I don’t know enough about book publishing to proffer what would only be an amateur’s opinion. However, strictly as a reader and fan of Business Common Sense, I hope you will at least investigate the possibility of doing so. Is self-publishing a viable option? With the command of Direct Marketing knowledge you possess -- and I would have to think, your huge Rolodex of contacts - I should think investigating publishing options could/would go somewhat quickly for you. Should you indeed travel down the publishing path, any good copy editor will find the few additional typos I found in your PDF file. [Seven typos listed and cleaned up by DH]

Page 166, fourth line from top. NOT a typo or misspelling, just an observation: Hurrah for the reference to “pounding moonbeams...” as any faithful reader of Business Common Sense will recognize. It brought a smile to my face!

If you know of anyone who could benefit from the services of a good proofreader (or writer, graphic designer or communications strategist), I’m always looking for new client opportunities. (Forgive the shameless plug -- it’s been a tough month.)

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