ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2016 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Reviews of The Missionaries

Rawle Nynanzi reviews Owen Stanley's satirical bestseller, The Missionaries:
When academic theories collide with practical reality, fun is had by all and sundry. The Missionaries is a hilarious book that will have you turning the page to see how badly a UN bureaucrat’s quest to modernize a distant tribe can go — and believe me, it goes really wrong. It shows the limits of the academic way of thinking while making you laugh all the way.

In the book, Dr. Prout is on a mission from the UN to develop the tribes of Elephant Island. As he does this, he finds himself going up against Roger Fletcher, a local administrator who prefers to let the tribes live as they always have, with him smoothing over any disputes. Despite Fletcher’s crude behavior and jokes about the natives’ culture, he clearly understands and respects them on a fundamental level. Dr. Prout, on the other hand, strides in like a know-it-all, spouting a mix of UN propaganda and left-wing orthodoxy while making no effort to understand the people in front of him. Most of the book’s humor comes from the collision of Fletcher’s practicality and Prout’s theoretical thinking.... I would proudly say that I loved the book. Highly recommended.
While you're on Nyanzi's site, I recommend having a look at his interesting take on proposition nations and the problem with them.

Some other comments about The Missionaries by reviewers.
  • A fun read that reminds me of Voltaire's Candide.
  • This book is absolutely hilarious and a must buy. 6 stars out of 5.
  • I cannot praise the craftsmanship that went into the plot too highly; the entire novel is as tight-knit as a Chekov short story.
  • The way the bureaucrat reinterprets everything to fit his academic theories will leave you rolling on the floor.
  • HitchHikers Guide meets social justice warriors in a United Nations 3rd world development project.
I think it should now be clear that we have not exaggerated, in the least, how good this book is. If you haven't picked up a copy yet, you really, truly, should. When readers are openly comparing it to Voltaire, Chekov, and Douglas Adams, you know it is a classic-in-the-making.


Labels: ,

54 Comments:

Anonymous Faceless June 30, 2016 11:10 AM  

My review will be up in time as I'm almost done.

It reminds me of the sharp bite of Ambrose Bierce as well.

I'm saving the rest for the review so I can't be cross-indexed by the RNC #NeverTrump "you must be a Nazi who burns books because you liked this book" crowd.

Blogger crazyivan498 June 30, 2016 11:11 AM  

alright, you got me on this one. I bought one. I hoping for a relaxing and entertaining July 4th weekend.

Anonymous Wilbur Hassenfus June 30, 2016 11:11 AM  

84% done and enjoying every page. It's a winner. Will review when I've read the whole thing. Hopelessly old fashioned of me, but I'm sure you won't mind.

I'll buy it on a dead tree too just as soon as it's out. I don't trust Amazon with my library.

Love the cover art by the way. Perfect.

Blogger Nick S June 30, 2016 11:16 AM  

If it's that good, I want 3 signed first edition hard copies; one for my collection and two for Christmas gifts.

Blogger SouthRon June 30, 2016 11:35 AM  

I busted out laughing as soon as I hit the second paragraph. No need to finish reading the sample. Hit Buy Now!

Blogger Doom June 30, 2016 11:40 AM  

At first, it seemed pure politics. Wasn't interested. Now that I realize it's humorous? Less so. Still, it's not hiding from my doubts, but exploring them, that seems to get me closer to... something. I may actually give it a shot. I'm backed up on my reading list, but I'll go ahead and order. You big baby, badger, mother hen type. Gah!

Anonymous Rawle Nyanzi June 30, 2016 11:43 AM  

Thanks for the linkbacks, Vox. And thanks for publishing this book.

As of this comment, Missionaries is ranked #1,924 overall, with #1 in Literary Fiction > Satire and #3 in Humor > Satire and Genre Fiction > Satire.

That shows the book has a real buzz, not shell buyers or other fakery. Thank God for Amazon sales rank.

Anonymous Dillon June 30, 2016 11:49 AM  

Are there plans for a paperback version?

Blogger Rantor June 30, 2016 11:51 AM  

Bought it earlier this week and will read once I finish Ctrl-Alt-Revolt! Will review both.

Ctrl-Alt-Revolt is excellent thus far. Life getting in the way of reading but a few long airplane rides coming up...

Blogger Old Ez June 30, 2016 11:59 AM  

Are the CH print editions limited in number or are they print on demand?

Blogger David The Good June 30, 2016 12:04 PM  

Alright, you convinced me. I'll put aside the three other books I'm reading and get started on this one. Sounds fantastic.

Blogger Jim June 30, 2016 12:06 PM  

A little over 80% finished and am enjoying it. The humor is not quite at Hitchhiker level, but I think prose is actually a little bit better. 4/5 stars, and a steal @ $4.99 for the kindle version.

Blogger Dave June 30, 2016 12:09 PM  

Print? Dead tree? Hardcover? Paperback?

https://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/06/brings-lightning-now-in-paperback.html?m=1

"At our current rate of production, we anticipate releasing two ebooks and four print books for a total of ten editions every month."

Blogger VD June 30, 2016 12:09 PM  

Are the CH print editions limited in number or are they print on demand?

Unlimited. Not pure POD, but the high-tech, upscale version of that.

Blogger Dave June 30, 2016 12:11 PM  

Yes $4.99 is a steal!

Blogger The Other Robot June 30, 2016 12:18 PM  

A useful definition of evil: A person who would visit cultural destruction (and the attendant loss of life) on a people (even their own) in the interests of their own personal advancement:

Muslim Rapefugess and their war on women and girls in Canada.

Blogger Doomfinger June 30, 2016 12:30 PM  

Finished it last night and loved it.

Blogger Jewel June 30, 2016 1:11 PM  

I'm reading it now. That opening scene is one of the funniest I've read in a long time.

Anonymous Hezekiah Garrett June 30, 2016 1:13 PM  

So, anyone who has read Evelyn Waugh, especially Scoop or Black Mischief, is this in that vein?

Anonymous Hezekiah Garrett June 30, 2016 1:20 PM  

Would Castalia House be remotely interested in a how to photo illustrated type book on building folk instruments? In a couple of years, of course.

Cigar box guitars, mandolins, banjos, dulcimers, an upright 4string bass or cello made from a washtub, &c? Enough for a decent band and simple enough for homeschooling parents to build with, or for, the kids?

Anonymous Hezekiah Garrett June 30, 2016 1:24 PM  

I ask here because the comments of random posts appears to be where the Dark Lord gives a lot of rejection notices, and being quicker and easier than email, I can fail faster, if fail I'll do.

Blogger JWM June 30, 2016 1:37 PM  

Just bought it. As soon as I'm done with "Souldancer" I'm on board for the ride.

JWM

Blogger VD June 30, 2016 1:43 PM  

Would Castalia House be remotely interested in a how to photo illustrated type book on building folk instruments? In a couple of years, of course.

No, I don't think so.

Anonymous Clay June 30, 2016 2:28 PM  

OK. Yall know me...ANOTHER stupid question.

Has anyone here every had an Australian Shepherd dog? Though yes, I know, they aren't really "Australian". But they are supposedly very intelligent.

They aren't cheap, either.

But, I have a chance to buy one, a ten month old female, for $250 (I think that's cheap!)

A girl I know is moving, and she doesn't want to have to take the dog with her.

Just asking.

Blogger frenchy June 30, 2016 2:33 PM  

Vox,

I think you all also created a pretty good book cover. Simple, and conveys what's gonna be inside the book. I also liked the color scheme.

Blogger Jim June 30, 2016 2:45 PM  

Crtl-Alt-Revolt was also very good. Well-written and engaging prose, with terrific descriptions of the in-game world. Just a wee bit disappointed with the ending, but still a couple of hours of very solid entertainment.

Blogger Jim June 30, 2016 2:47 PM  

@ 24 Haven't had one personally, but have heard as "working dogs" that they need a lot of exercise/interaction or they get bored and can be problematic chewing on things etc...

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 30, 2016 2:54 PM  

Clay wrote:Has anyone here every had an Australian Shepherd dog? Though yes, I know, they aren't really "Australian". But they are supposedly very intelligent.

Aussies are VERY active dogs. They need a lot of exercise. They also need to be well socialized. They are naturally wary of strangers and if they're not well socialized, they can get pretty aggressive.

On the other hand, if you have an acre or two, they're good watch dogs. If you have cattle, don't hesitate.

Blogger VD June 30, 2016 3:26 PM  

I think you all also created a pretty good book cover. Simple, and conveys what's gonna be inside the book. I also liked the color scheme.

Thanks. We had some ideas about using these Papua New Guinea masks that the author owned, but the roughs just didn't work. So, we went with the more literary approach.

Blogger Josh June 30, 2016 3:34 PM  

Has anyone here every had an Australian Shepherd dog? Though yes, I know, they aren't really "Australian". But they are supposedly very intelligent.

They aren't cheap, either.

But, I have a chance to buy one, a ten month old female, for $250 (I think that's cheap!)


We had one growing up, and my parents have two right now.

They're great dogs if they have enough space to run around and someone to play with.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 30, 2016 3:35 PM  

It's not quite tale linens, but reality is trying to one-up Owen Stanley. The guardian has published a piece on ...



cupcake fascism.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 30, 2016 3:37 PM  

Oh my god, this is pitch-perfect parody, except the author is PhD in Philosophy, and dead serious.
The constellation of cultural tropes that most paradigmatically manifest in the form of the cupcake are associated in particular with infantilisation. Of course, looking back to a perfect past that never existed is nothing if not the pained howl of a child who never wanted to be forced to grow up, and the cupcake and its associates market themselves by catering to these never-​never-​land adults' tastes. These products, which treat their audience as children, and more specifically the children of the middle classes – perfect special snowflakes full of wide-​eyed wonder and possibility – succeed as expressions of a desire on behalf of consumers to always and forever be children, by telling consumers not only that this is OK, but also that it is, to a real degree, possible.

Anonymous Case June 30, 2016 4:05 PM  

I've only read the first few pages and had to pause to wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes 3 times.

Anonymous VFM #6306 June 30, 2016 4:54 PM  

6 out of 5? You don't say...

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 June 30, 2016 5:12 PM  

I'm about 40% of the way through it and it already feels a bit too real for comfort.

Blogger GFR June 30, 2016 6:32 PM  

I finished this book yesterday and the appeal of the characters was remarkable (particularly the Australians). This is now the third book in a row ("Victoria", "Brings the Lightning" and "The Missionaries") that I have bought and read within 24 hours, (I also read "SJWs always Lie", but that is a different kind of book). It's almost like Castalia House specifically caters to a certain kind of reader.
.
One note: there is another book published some years ago (2005) that is quite similar to "The Missionaries" it is called: "Speak For England", by James Hawes. I think Hawes might be famous in England but he's not well known in the US. If Castalia House could round this guy up, it might be a good fit.

Blogger Avalanche June 30, 2016 6:57 PM  

@24 "But, I have a chance to buy one, a ten month old female, for $250"

Energizer bunny on steroids! Smart smart smart -- which means KEYED locks on your kitchen cabinets, and maybe abandon all hope for your back door! (Chain locks work...) Delightful fun companion! IF you want to have a wild brilliant attention-demanding 5-yr-old child with AHDH for the next FIFTEEN YEARS, this is your dog!

If, however, you work away from home for some number of hours, you don't have a large, VERY fenced yard, and your neighbors will mind lonely barking; expect a LOT of damage and a neurotic doggo!

They're called sheep dogs because they're smart (and energetic!) enough to run around flocks of sheep, anticipating and heading off strays and bolters -- AND because all the running wears them out enough to actually sleep part of the time!

Great, great dogs! HUGE responsibility!

OpenID freemarketzen June 30, 2016 7:01 PM  

Hi, when is the uk paperback due out?

OpenID xsyq June 30, 2016 7:21 PM  

I enjoyed The Missionaries quite a bit. Found a typo though, about 10% through the book; "...crouching and growling behind the door, and nearly severed the brute's head." Nearly should be neatly.

Blogger Matthew June 30, 2016 7:56 PM  

freemarketzen wrote:Hi, when is the uk paperback due out?

We don't do specific publishing dates for print yet. When we do get this excellent book out in print, it will be simultaneous hardcover and paperback, and it should be available in all English markets at approximately the same time.

Blogger Matthew June 30, 2016 7:58 PM  

xsyq wrote:I enjoyed The Missionaries quite a bit. Found a typo though, about 10% through the book; "...crouching and growling behind the door, and nearly severed the brute's head." Nearly should be neatly.

Thanks, xsyq!

Feel free to email further corrections to Vox or to matthew@castaliahouse.com.

Blogger Dave June 30, 2016 8:29 PM  

Nearly: not completely; almost but not quite.

I read it as an incomplete decapitation; not clean.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 30, 2016 8:43 PM  

Except the head rolls away.

Blogger Dave June 30, 2016 8:48 PM  

That would be quite clean, in that case.

Blogger Dave June 30, 2016 9:05 PM  

What would he do with the body, its fur now matted with the blood that spread thickly over the concrete floor?

I suppose one could read this as "headless body", however the author said "nearly severed".

Snidely you're thinking too Hollywood.

Blogger Remo - Vile Faceless Minion #99 June 30, 2016 9:43 PM  

I notice you tend to dwell on Rebel Moon and its lack of success in some of your posts. Imagine for a minute if that *had* been a major triumph in the gaming world and what effect it would have on a book like the "The Missionaries". Would it spend eternity as nothing more than old typed pages in an attic waiting for the authors death before residing for eternity in a landfill? For my money I prefer the world the way it is with Castalia house and not Castalia games.

Anonymous Wooly Phlox June 30, 2016 10:34 PM  

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20160629-clock-boy-ahmed-mohamed-on-life-in-qatar-what-he-s-learned-about-hate.ece

The Lede:

“After a nine-month stay in Qatar, Ahmed Mohamed returned to Texas this week with a deeper appreciation for his religion and a thicker skin.”

Wonderful. I love it when Muslims acquire a deeper appreciation for their religion. Because I love lots of death, theft, and destruction against innocent non-Muslim Infidels!! Not to mention all the associated taqiyya! Love that stuff! It’s Multicultural! Which means warm, fuzzy teddy bears!

Hopefully, Texans where this dude got dropped also have “a deeper appreciation for their religion and a thicker skin”. Since that seems to be a good thing, according to this Journalist.

OpenID xsyq July 01, 2016 12:02 AM  

I took "nearly" to be a near miss, whereas neatly would be a clean hit, but after closer reading I suppose you could take it to mean a near decapitation as well. My apologies.

Blogger Matthew July 01, 2016 1:19 AM  

Regardless, we appreciate error reports. Engagement something something.

Blogger Dave July 01, 2016 1:19 AM  

I too initially read it as a near miss, then it was revealed the beast was dead.

Anonymous Hezekiah Garrett July 01, 2016 9:01 AM  

Thanks for the reply.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan July 01, 2016 9:30 AM  

After "Mutiny in Space" this is next. The cover is great it suggest mystery.

Anonymous James Parliament July 01, 2016 10:49 AM  

Picked it up. Good hooks, tantalizing reviews.

Blogger TarjaJu July 01, 2016 6:38 PM  

Started reading the book yesterday... It's a real page-turner, already 20+% through, I feel a bit of an idiot laughing out loud in the bus. The racist implications of air conditioning were unexpected to say the least.

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts