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Atlanta Nights by Travis Tea

Atlanta Nights (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Travis Tea (Pseudonym)

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553214,390 (3)6
Title:Atlanta Nights
Authors:Travis Tea
Info:Lulu.com (2005), Paperback, 299 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:unclassifiable, fiction, humor

Work details

Atlanta Nights by Travis Tea (Pseudonym) (2004)

  1. 10
    Naked Came the Stranger by Penelope Ashe (Wova4)
    Wova4: Atlanta Nights and Naked Came the Stranger are both publishing hoaxes written by committee.

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In case the author's name is not already a dead giveaway, it should be said that Atlanta Nights is a humor book. Not only that, it is an intentional attempt to write the worst book known to man; in this it has succeeded hilariously.

Atlanta Nights was a hoax written to expose PublishAmerica, a company claiming to be a traditional publisher who will only accept the most high-quality manuscripts, but which is actually a vanity press. After an article on PublishAmerica's website stated that "the quality bar for sci-fi and fantasy is a lot lower than for all other fiction," a group of science fiction authors retaliated by seeing how awful a manuscript PublishAmerica would accept.

The book has forty-one chapters, each written by a different author, except for Chapter 17 (which repeats Chapter 4 verbatim) and Chapter 34 (which was written by a computer), both inserted to fill the spaces of authors who did not make their deadlines. (There is also no Chapter 21, but the book makes up for it with a second Chapter 12.) The authors did not consult with one another; instead, they worked from bits of an incoherent plot outline and a list of characters who, over the course of the book, change gender, appearance, and personalities without warning.

Predictably, PublishAmerica offered to publish the book (and immediately rescinded the offer once the hoax was revealed). The authors published the book through Lulu, a reputable self-publishing company, complete with blurbs such as "ATALANTA NITES [sic] might rival Tolkein [sic] with enough editing" and "I haven't been this stunned since my colonoscopy."

The book is a how-to guide on how not to write a novel. It is so hilariously bad your sides will hurt from laughing. It will be hard to resist reading the best (worst?) bits aloud at friends or enemies, and even harder to pick out those bits from something that is so consistently awful.

Try this simile, for instance, from Chapter 3: "Her cheeks were almost as red as her hair already, like red Delicious apples under green leaves which were her eyes and the dark pupils were like little curled up caterpillars in the middle." And then be reassured that it keeps getting worse, up until the final revelation that the entire story was all just a dream... after which it continues for several more agonizingly funny chapters.

This is a book to keep on hand for those particularly awful bits of writer's block, when you can't get anything down on a page, are convinced you'll never write anything worth publishing, and just need some reassurance that no matter what you write, you will never write anything as bad as Atlanta Nights.

Then again, you'll probably never write anything as funny, either.

http://www.helium.com/items/1495420-atlanta-nights-travis-tea-review ( )
2 vote siroc | Aug 5, 2010 |
(note : the 1/5 does take into account the fact it is meant to be bad ; it is a failed so-bad-it's-good book)

A hoax book, deliberately bad (insert copy-paste of wikipedia/the postface here for context). Almost always presented as hilarious, sometimes as "the worst book of the world". Actually it is not that bad and not that funny.

Despite a few strikes of brilliance I found the book a dreary, soul-less, bloated exercise in style. Each chapter has a funny, ready-to-quote malapropism, stupid description or asinine piece of dialogue. But on closer inspection most of them have exactly one such gem, like an embarrassingly small band-aid hastily slapped on a large, foetid boil.

Neither the relative dishonesty of the uninteresting argument the book is supposed to make by its existence (all that painstakingly poor spelling and poor presentation, for instance, is only a cheap jab at P.A. ; there is nothing to suggest it would not have been fixed in a release, as is indeed part of the role of a publisher), nor its annoying fandom, nor its bombastic introduction warrant much indulgence for it.

Overall this "study in bad literature" fails to transcend its own mediocrity and to reach the depths successfully plumbed by its involuntary forebears.

Another review in French here : http://jwrdk.free.fr/articles/livres/nanarbooksnew/chro11.html ( )
1 vote Kuiperdolin | Jan 3, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tea, TravisPseudonymprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nielsen Hayden, TeresaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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