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Thanks and Sorry and Good Luck: Rejections…

Thanks and Sorry and Good Luck: Rejections From the Eyeshot Outbox

by Lee Klein

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In order to be as forthcoming in the following review as possible I have to confess an affinity already acquired for most things Lee Klein. I believe he is a marvelously interesting and talented writer. And because I hold this Mr. Klein in such high esteem I am hesitant to give this book more than the four stars it certainly deserves. If I were rating this particular nonfiction on a typically noncreative site the book would garner a five star review from me because it simply blows most other critical reviews to smithereens. Lately it seems I have been using that word “smithereens” along with the word “delightful” far too often, enough times now that they are both beginning to make me sick of every overused, but perfectly good and appropriate, expression.

I have never submitted any of my own work to Lee Klein’s electronic machine via his Eyeshot website. Lee has also never had the pleasure of rejecting me in his official capacity as editor of his online journal. That is not to say he wouldn’t if given the chance, and that is also not to say that I haven’t already been rejected enough times elsewhere already in my lifetime. But his sometimes verbose rejections I believe are indeed moral. They definitely seem fair. I am of the opinion that he is extremely helpful to anyone reading and listening to what he has to say about improving a particular work. He even comes across as a humane and sensitive teacher of the first rank. But I get the sense that Eyeshot prefers “laugh out loud” stuff more than almost anything else and so I haven’t spent the time I probably should have reading his online journal in case I do ever want to submit my own seriously “unfunny” stuff. I am positive my work would not be what this editor is looking to post online. It seems, at least in reading these rejections, that these people unfortunately did not take the time to read Eyeshot’s Specific Recommendations, Restrictions, and Guidelines. It has several.

I found the entire book enjoyable to read, and I basically slowed myself down as much as I could while reading it to delay its ending for me. In its entirety Thanks and Sorry and Good Luck was certainly pleasurable, and I encourage any and all aspiring writers to read this book first before ever submitting anything you have written to anybody. Obviously if future submitters followed his suggestions it might give the poor guy more time to spend with his kid. This interesting collection of rejections is also a work of art, and I think enough evidence to make a case for a very strong beginning to a literary vocation. Lee Klein is a writer we are going to hear much more about in the coming years. ( )
  MSarki | Jan 24, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0988994526, Paperback)

Literary Nonfiction. THANKS AND SORRY AND GOOD LUCK compiles a dozen years of disappointment transmitted via e-mail from a single editor to hundreds of writers around the world. Performative and funny one minute, respectful and constructive the next, these rejections both serve as entertaining writing tips (suitable for use in today's more adventuresome creative writing classrooms) and suggest a skewed story about a boy and his seminal literary website, Eyeshot.net, which Lee Klein founded in 1999. What started as a lark—sending playful rejection notes to writers who'd submitted work for the site—over ten years took on a life of its own, becoming an outlet for Klein to meditate on his aesthetic preferences, the purpose of literature, and the space between the ideal and the real.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:29 -0400)

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