Smithson Syndrome

When I began blogging, Sean Smithson was one of my first followers. In fact, even when my blogs were absolute crap, and almost no one liked them, there was Sean Smithson, among the brave few, giving validation to my pathetic publications.

But who was this Sean Smithson? Some creepy stalker? Well perhaps…

But actually, it turns out Sean had a great blog of his own where he would write sordid accounts of his pathetic love life, steeped in humor and self deprecation. Well, the truth is, pathetic may be not quite a strong enough word to describe Sean’s love life. Perhaps, it might be better to say that reading his blog was a bit like watching a car crash, you know, the kind of thing where you want to turn away but you just can’t. And, in case you are not quite getting the jist, if there was a behavioral or personality disorder for people who simply did not have the dating gene, it would probably be called Smithson Syndrome.

Anyway, every time Sean published a blog, it seemed as if the entire blogging community would come out to read what new, horrifically embarrassing episode Sean was ready to unfold, while trying to top each other with clever comments, all under some sort of ruse that they would actually win a date with the author; although why anyone would want to earn this distinction is beyond me.

Recently Sean published a book, “How To Lose A Girl In 10 Ways”. To return Sean’s months of dedication to my blog, I swore I would be the first to read and review the book, but it seems that it was rather difficult for me to get my hands on it, so many other bloggers beat me to the punch. However, after reading much of the book, I was inspired to write a poem in Sean’s honor:

I heard he was smart and soft spoken,
And even a bit of a looker,
Maybe it’s the liquor but here’s the kicker,
He can’t even score with a hooker.
But saved by a sense of humor,
Of which many have an appreciation,
He turns into gold the stories he’s told,
While wallowing in self deprecation.
A subject he’s quite fond of,
And perhaps they were trying to kid,
When told in effect, he could write a book on the subject,
But that’s exactly what he did.
And though I always root for the underdog,
And have a strong appreciation,
A change in luck might totally suck,
For where would he get his inspiration?


A classic tale of boy loses girl, boy loses girl, boy loses girl…this book rocks!

Read Sean’s blog here:

Buy Sean’s book here:

Review of Phil Taylor’s ‘White Picket Prisons’

All hail the emergence of middle aged anti-heroes Chuck, Cliff, Coop and Goober! Phil Taylor does it again (or did it before) with a masterful thriller which incorporates edge of your seat action and suspense with Phil’s undeniable comedic flair as we find this unlikely group of childhood friends, now considerably older, falling ass backwards in to some m*****f***ing CSI type s***!


So for those of you who are lost already, let’s start at the beginning. Meet Phil Taylor, indie author, comedy blogger, and all around awesome guy. A few months ago, I jumped at the chance to review his latest release “The Sneaker Tree”. I had so much fun reading and reviewing that book that I could not resist the opportunity to review his previous release “White Picket Prisons”.

“White Picket Prisons” is a white knuckle ride that can hold it’s own next to any well known suspense novel of our time. It is an edge of your seat thriller, which also delivers a sense of nostalgia and comedy by the boat load, while capturing a metaphorical picture of what could well lurk behind the white picket fences of suburban life.

Although the two book’s plots are completely independent of one another, “The Sneaker Tree” could well serve as a prequel to it’s slightly sexier predecessor. And while “The Sneaker Tree” might appeal to a wider range of audience including young adult, “White Picket Prisons” includes more of what adults are looking for when they read a thriller, like sex, blood and rock n’ roll. Kudos to Phil for proving his versatility as an author.

And while I’m at it, let me give Phil a hats off for  bringing me back to my childhood by peppering the text with rock songs lyrics of the 80s. But ‘Jesus H. Christ and The Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse’? Wow Phil, you do dig deep!

A while back Phil wrote a blog called ‘Who Is Phil Taylor and Why Should You Read His Books?. If this review has not answered those questions, you might want to follow this link and read that blog. But for a more succinct answer to these philosophical questions of the the ages: ‘a very talented comedy and suspense writer’ and ‘because he’s AWESOME!!’

Buy Phil’s books here:

Read Phil’s blog here:

Review of Phil Taylor’s “The Sneaker Tree”

From the first time I read Phil Taylor’s blog, I instantly knew this was a blogger I wanted to follow. Phil has a fresh and accessible voice and his sense of humor is both witty and familiar.

Thanks to Phil’s brilliant marketing tactics, I was quickly made aware of the fact that Phil has written a couple of novels (all available on Amazon) one of which is “The Sneaker Tree.”
My first thoughts on finding this out was, yes please, I would like to read this book. But being that I am a typical New Yorker, I was also skeptical. After all, writing a blog is one thing, but writing a book is something completely different. Would it be any good? And what would it be like? Judging from Phil’s blog, I could only imagine that it would read like a very long episode of Seinfeld (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Anyway, I must say I was pleasantly surprised.
At it’s inception, The Sneaker Tree is a first person narrative, coming of age book of boyhood (think ‘Christmas Story’) that quickly takes a dark turn (think ‘Lord of the Flies’). From there, the story morphs into an edge of your seat thriller which manages to incorporate suspense and fantasy without alienating the reader, and maintaining that fresh, accessible voice and sense of humor we have all come to know and love. The Sneaker Tree not only conjures up comparisons to the classics above, but is also reminiscent of, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Stand By Me’.
On a personal note, I think all Gen-Xers will appreciate the childhood references, and…C.H.U.D. Phil, really? I don’t know if it’s scarier for me to think about how many hours of Googling it took for you to scare that one up or how fresh in your mind it was. Never thought I’d hear that one again.
In summation, ‘The Sneaker Tree’ was a delight to read and very well worth the money. I highly recommend it for adults and young adults as well.