Saturday, 4 June 2016

Brighton Fringe 2016: My My Immortal

Hi my name is Ebony Darkness Dementia Raven Way and I am the lead character in the worst piece of Fan Fiction ever written...

Quite why I decided to agree to review a midnight reading of what is, arguably, the worst piece of fan fiction ever written is beyond me. Indeed, I was taking a horrific risk as to get this particular recital wrong and you doom your audience to an experience that would equate to having all of your finger nails removed very, very slowly. My Immortal manages to include within its pages every faux pas a writer can make as well as embodying the most horrific betrayal of the english language ever inflicted. This is all Mathilda Gregory's fault as it is her dulcet tones that are being used to deliver this carbuncle of a book to the audience. I normally don't enjoy delivering a bad review but as the majority of this article will be spent explaining just why My Immortal is so utterly awful I am going to really go to town on this one!

Firstly, Mathilda Gregory delivered a scintillating performance with a reading that allowed the sheer horror of the subject matter to hit the audience with the impact of a lump hammer. Only occasionally allowing herself a smile or slight chuckle this simply accentuated the terrible truth that Gregory knows this is an awful book. Indeed, I note that large numbers within the audience are appropriately dressed in full goth clothing and I realise that this fetid tome h as a very large fandom attached to it. On the tenth anniversary it seemed appropriate to celebrate the second largest betrayal of the English language (second as I class that Shadey Grey book as marginally worse) in a church as I witnessed all that was literal sacrificed on the alter of writing excellence. With accompanying music by DJ Muffy Hunter accentuating brilliantly the dour tone of the occasion we begin at Chapter 1 and the most painful recital of my life.

If you haven't read My Immortal ,and endured or survived would better words, then here is a little taster for you, I have included a link for the full book at the close of the review. My Immortal is a gothic version of Harry Potter written from the lead character's (Ebony or often Enoby's) perspective. Ebony is a vampire and has designs (this is a review that is intended for a family audience but you need to at least aged 15 to read the original text) on key characters within the Potter universe. The problem is that whoever wrote My Immortal has the IQ of a dead slug and consequently hasn't got the slightest idea on how to create a good novel. Her pathetic effort is full to bursting with bad grammar, awful sentence structure and the sort of continuity that makes E L James look like Shakespeare. This is the real kicker though, My Immortal has no plot that I can discover. The entire point of its existence is that it is a gothic take on Harry Potter with added hormonal fumbling, thats it! My pet cat could write a more convincing fan fiction, on the back of stamp! The author who for understandable reasons has remained anonymous for fear of death threats and vicious but understandable er, critiquing of his or her work has delivered such a low bar of excellence that they constantly trip over their own incompetence.

Voldemort is the main protagonist, for one staggering scene and with absolutely no explanation he morphs into Darth Vader, whose sole purpose seems to lurk in the shadows adding no menace whatsoever. My Immortal reads as if it has been written by someone with the most obscene and incurable ADHD I have ever witnessed. This is in no way a slight against those that have this challenge, I myself have an element of it and believe it adds a wondrous distinctive flavour to my character. Not so here and if you ever wanted to discover what it would be like if Marty McFly, complete with time machine, visited Hogwarts then look no further. Nothing makes sense, the spelling is awful and there is absolutely no cohesion to any of the writing. None at all!

I end my article on my biggest issue with My Immortal and there are so many to take your pick from. I have always absolutely hated over narrated, pointless detail in a novel. I am going to be controversial here but it is for exactly this reason that I don't enjoy large swathes of Stephen King's back catalogue. King spends far too much time detailing the white picket fence, the particular hue of the fence and the way that it occupies it's space with especially wooded glory. I don't care about the fence or how impressive it is just get to the detail please! Dean Koontz doesnt spent pages on such inanity so why do you have to? It is just this pot hole that the writer of My Immortal falls into on numerous occasions. For example:

"The next day I woke up in my bedroom. It was snowing and raining again. I opened the door of my coffin and drank some blood from a bottle I had. My coffin was black ebony and inside it was hot pink velvet with black lace on the ends. I got out of my coffin and took of my giant MCR t-shirt which I used for pajamas. Instead, I put on a black leather dress, a pentagram necklace, combat boots and black fishnets on. I put on four pairs of earrings in my pierced ears, and put my hair in a kind of messy bun."

Seriously, who cares about your earrings or how messy your bun is! Bad writing at its worst and most putrid. I have read many great fan fiction works and I have read some truly terrible ones but this, this is in a category all of its own. Now you could argue that everyone should be allowed to share what they like and express themselves in whatever way they wish. I normally agree but would add this note of caution. Imagine you watched one of those generic talent contests that are infecting our television viewing on a Saturday night. You know that feeling when someone opens their mouth a noise bursts forth that could best be described as a kind of death rattle associated with an animal that is dying in absolute torment. If you are anything like me you think to yourself that at some point, a member of their family should have 'had a word' and prevented this offensive noise from being unleashed on the public. This is what should have happened with My Immortal. 

Read My Immortal here

Adendum--------- Since writing this review it has been pointed out to me that Tara Gilesbie has been confirmed as the writer of My Immortal. I cannot imagine the level of embarrassment this would cause but neither do I wish to change my opinion. I do believe that this was a serious attempt at writing a genuine piece of fan fiction and it is one that should have really not been made public!
The Recital not the book gets 5 Stars

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