November 19, 2007

I got some love

Monster & Monster
Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
I got my first review, and I'm very pleased with it. Kirkus Reviews is an industry trade publication, available to libraries, bookstores and their buyers, magazines, media, etc. An article in the New York Times a few years ago referred to Kirkus as "a sort of Consumer Reports for the book publishing industry", and an appearance there can lead to other reviews, media attention, and general fancy pantsedness.

I'm just happy that the word "crap" doesn't appear anywhere within.


Kirkus Reviews

Rummel-Hudson, Robert
SCHUYLER’S MONSTER: A Father’s Journey with His Wordless Daughter

The author’s evolving maturity is part of the story of his little girl’s struggle to cope with a brain deformity found in only 100 or so patients worldwide.

After waxing autobiographical at some length, Rummel-Hudson presents his unique daughter, Schuyler. Not long after her birth, it became apparent that something was not right with the baby. She cried and laughed a lot, but she never made an effort to talk, except for a few disconnected, barked vowels. She could hear well enough, tests proved, but she missed many developmental milestones and was essentially mute. More than a third of the way into the book—apparently adapted from the author’s contemporaneous blogs—Dad and Mom got a singularly unhelpful diagnosis: Schuyler had “pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified.” Other experts were consulted, and, when she was three, her affliction was designated as “bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria,” which means she has a severely deformed, irreparable brain. The prognosis for this extremely rare condition, as far as doctors can tell, is dire. Seizures, lack of fine motor skills and retardation were all predicted for Schuyler, in addition to speechlessness. Her father chronicles interactions with friends, family, teachers, doctors and diverse experts as the search for help continued. Eventually, he discovered the existence of a device called an electronic speech synthesizer; to purchase this costly prosthesis, Dad asked for and received funding from Internet donors. Now Schuyler, nearly eight, uses her talking box proficiently.

Relating the battle for his exceptional daughter with nimble wit, ardor and considerable descriptive ability, Rummel-Hudson has evolved from blogger to author.


Anonymous said...

Does "considerable descriptive ability" mean you're like that kid in Philosophy 301 who uses too many big words in an attempt to impress everyone?

I keed, I keed. ;) Well done, Sparky.

kris said...


Congrats, Mr. Fancy Pants Author. That rocks. Well done. You've made us proud ;) Julie and Schuyler owe you some ice cream, I'd say.

Nicole P said...

SA-weet!!! This is awesome Rob. That last paragraph is dreamy.

Bev Sykes said...

"with nimble wit, ardor and considerable descriptive ability, Rummel-Hudson has evolved from blogger to author."

Yep. I'd say that's about right.

Congratulations, author!

deb said...

Super, Rob.
I am impatiently waiting for February.
(As is everyone else here!)

Anonymous said...

That is an absolutely super review Rob. I even liked the crack about you "waxing" at considerable length.

MarkB said...

I am so looking forward to the book.

Damn having to wait for it, though.

BTW, Rob - re, book tours. Have you considered doing a 'virtual' book tour? (see mention of previous VBT's on Kottke -

Considering the subject matter, but more importantly your witty smart-assery, you'd be quite the catch for bloggers wanting something to write about - particularly your whole blogger-becomes-fancypantswriter story.

btw, if you need anyone to help pimp your book in the UK, I'm happy to offer my lack of skills for the cause!


Robert Hudson said...

The "waxing autobiographical at some length" remark was totally fair. I kept waiting for St. Martin's to start cutting stuff from that chapter, and they never did, so there it stayed. If I had to do it all over again, I might have trimmed that whole section a bit.

Then again, I might not have. I can be pretty self-absorbed, you know.

Unknown said...

Sounds like a very good review to me! Congratulations. I'm looking forward to the release date.

Omar said...

Fantastic and well-deserved. You ARE an author!

DeadPlantBoy said...

Congrats on the book review.
"sounds great to me"
but I though "all" Fancy-Pants Authors got good book reviews

contrarybear said...

Congrats Rob! That was a sweet write-up. I'm looking forward to reading the book.

Anonymous said...

That's terrific! Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Aw Rob, that's just great. This longtime reader is excited to see you getting the recognition you so richly deserve!

Unknown said...

I can't believe the release date is drawing nye. I remember when you first announced it, how far away it sounded. I'm sure even longer for you. Can't wait to read it.

Bernard said...


I can't wait to read future authored posts.

They're WAY BETTER than old fashioned blog posts. :-)

Linda Ball said...

Well, that's what *I've* been waiting for...a fancy pants reviewer to call Rob 'evolved.'

Seriously, it's a great review and a good summary of the book and I hope it helps pump up possible fancy pants reviewing folks to review it.

Anonymous said...

Congrats - That's great!

Michael Berry said...

Hot damn, Rob! Kirkus is by far the most mean-spirited of the review services. If you've managed to charm one of its anonymous reviewers, you're likely to garner more acclaim from other critics.

Anonymous said...

More on waxing autobiographical... For you newbies, Rob was worth reading long before the Chubbin came along. I got roped into his old blog Darn Tootin’ via an odd Google hit while looking for information on a tornado that hit Kalamazoo, Michigan. I can’t find that entry now (blog done gone) but Rob’s take on us sissy Michiganders (as opposed to Texans, who know a thing or two about tornados) totally cracked me up.

Anonymous said...

Dude... the pants... they are so F-ING fancy. I cannot wait to read your book.

Rock on.

Anonymous said...

I don't have anything witty to say, other than I so happy for you!

Kari said...

Congratulations! Your first review and you passed with FLYING colors. I am so looking forward to the book in February.

Congratulations again. That's great.

tonya said...

Yay! Kirkus is a hard-ass too! Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

I've been a long-time fan of your writing, Rob. Just been a lurker till now, but I have to come out of the underbrush to congratulate you on getting published and scooping up such a great review from one of the tough guys.

Hugs to you, Julie and the Chubbin, from Asia...
~ Sil in Corea