Read The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson Free Online
Book Title: The Prince of Venice Beach|
Date of issue: June 3rd 2014
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
The author of the book: Blake Nelson
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 725 KB
Edition: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Read full description of the books The Prince of Venice Beach:This is not a good book. This is a very, very terrible book. I honestly really hate it. Not only is it poorly written and unrealistic, it’s horrifyingly sexist. I don’t know who thought publishing The Prince of Venice Beach was a good idea, but I honestly question their judgment. This book was just awful, with not a single redeeming quality.
First off, let’s just discuss our main character, Cali, and his situation. He’s 17, and he ran away from his foster home in Nebraska to come to LA when he was 14; now he lives on the streets. So far so good. Except he gets caught by the police, and they let him go without calling social services. Um. I’m not a police officer or anything but that sounds like something that could get you in a lot of trouble with your superiors. But not only does this police officer let Cali go, he gives him work as a sort of “junior private investigator”, and at the end of the book, he brings him along on a SWAT mission. No no no. This all makes a good story, but how likely is all of this in real life? NOT THAT LIKELY.
I was also just really troubled by how Blake Nelson portrayed Cali’s life on the streets, like it was all some big vacation. Everything in The Prince of Venice Beach was all fun, all the time. Cali didn’t seem to have any problems or struggles. How realistic does that sound? Being homeless isn’t a party, even when it is a choice.
And then there were general problems like Nelson’s really bad prose. It was very choppy, with short, repetitive sentences. The author doesn’t go into depth with any character or really give any mental or emotional insight. I found The Prince of Venice Beach to be extremely shallow, with juvenile writing and an unengaging writing style.
All the above are reasons that this book was never going to be a hit with me, but what really pushed my buttons was how Blake Nelson portrayed women in this. I was absolutely disgusted.
This was the first offense:
She had black hair and was lately wearing big black glasses, which gave her a dorky, robotic look. Which was fine except that she was eighteen, which was a little old for the robot-nerd thing. […] She shouldn’t be so weird and computer-like and into Harry Potter movies. But then, if she were normal, she would have normal guys taking her to the movies and she wouldn’t be bothering me.
Let’s just unpack this. First of all, this girl is a nerd. Why? Because she wears glasses and likes Harry Potter. Well news flash for you, buddy, but pretty much the entire world likes Harry Potter, and a lot of people wear glasses. Are they all nerds, too? Second, Nelson is suggesting that there is something “abnormal” about a girl who fits this description, that she will never gain a “normal” boy’s attention. It’s insulting to say that she’s abnormal because of these qualities, which I’ve already explained are actually quite common. It’s even more insulting to suggest that the only value a woman has is whether or not a man will find her attractive, like the only opinion she should care about is a male opinion. Why not ask if this girl is happy with herself? Shouldn’t that matter most? I am so freaking sick of men thinking that everything women do has something to do with them. We wear big glasses—oh no, better change those, wouldn’t want guys thinking you’re ugly! We like certain books or movies—better not, those aren't "sexy" enough!
Hey, dudebros, in case you didn’t know: NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU.
My objections with the sexism in The Prince of Venice Beach go on beyond that one passage (which is honestly enough to damn the entire book). Cali talks about how his dream life includes a woman to make him dinner. Cali refuses to allow his friend to go places with him “because she’s a girl”. He meets two girls who are going shopping—why? Because they’re girls and that’s all girls do. Duh. And, apparently, "it's weird for girls to see movies by themselves"? Okay, Mr. Sexism.
All of this went on. And on and on and on. The only two main female characters in this book are extremely stereotypical. We have the ugly, undesirable nerd girl. We also have the really hot, mysterious chick who Cali just wants to bang. I would complain that Nelson’s characterization of women is hopelessly two-dimensional, but then it’s not as if Cali is much better, what with his fantastic street-rat life that leaves him free to pass sexist judgment upon all and sundry.
This book was so disgusting and horrifying and gross. I first of all cannot believe that it was published. Moral objections aside, it’s just poor quality. I second of all cannot believe that anyone would actually write something so blatantly misogynistic as The Prince of Venice Beach. It is so, so far from okay. Every bit of me rejects this narrative. This book would get negative stars, if there were such a thing.
Read information about the authorBlake Nelson grew up in Portland, Oregon. He began his career writing short humor pieces for Details Magazine.
His first novel GIRL was originally serialized in SASSY magazine and was made into a film staring Selma Blaire and Portia De Rossi.
His novel PARANOID PARK won the prestigious International Grinzane Literary Award and was made into a film by Gus Van Sant.
His most recent Young Adult novel THE PRINCE OF VENICE BEACH has been shortlisted for the 2015 Edgar Award.
His 2011 novel RECOVERY ROAD has been adapted into a television drama for ABC FAMILY and will premier in January of 2016.
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