Sent Items
Book Review

It’s been a hard day. You get home and find your mailbox full of forwarded e-mails. You know the drill: one e-mail from your mother outlining how to save some poor child’s salivary glands by collecting all the Dansani water tops you find. One from your buddy about how “it’s good to be a man”, one from the guy at work about Clinton. Whee, what I wouldn’t give for a world free of forwarded e-mail.

So imagine a whole book of what basically amounts to forwarded e-mail. Welcome friends, to the book that is “Sent Items” by Joe Dino. A book without a plot, point or anything we usually expect from the literary world. It’s a compilation of forwarded e-mail in painful book form. In fact Sent Items is an entire 270 pages of Joe’s e-mails and other Internet comings and goings.

Sent Items is a book that collects (apparently) all the e-mails Joe Dino has ever sent. What a special treat. I don’t really want to read most of the e-mail I get, let alone the e-mail some else sent. I could be panning a new literary genre, maybe sent e-mail will become all the rage and folks will win Pulitzers for this stuff, but as it stands forwarded e-mails is not the format for an interesting read.

If the e-mails contained within the book were directed specifically at me AND if I really thought someone else led such and interesting life that I would actually want to know the number of ribs they could eat on a given night then I suppose the book might be of interest. Unfortunately the reader has no sympathy for the author and thus is never engaged by the book.

In actuality the book smacks of some sort of masturabatory thrill for the author. I found myself wondering if the book was a vanity press offering. There are a few good gags in the book but the time spent getting to them is pretty painful. The reader (me, since I doubt anyone else will ever read this tome of self-interest) is left floating freely waiting for the book to actually become interesting. Unfortunately it never does.

I hate to give such a bad review to a writer that actually has more talent than I posses (read “some”). On the other hand I would feel even worse if someone actually read this book. Skip this book, wait until Mr. Dino polishes the technical aspects of storytelling and come back later. Three books from now Joe Dino may actually be funny and engaging, the talent is there, but for now he’s still practicing.

MacMice Rating: .0125 out of 5 (cause kindling is worth something)

Chris Seibold

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