Award-winning novelist and cultural critic Strobe Witherspoon interrogates his own profession. It goes terribly.
"Sometimes sad and sometimes hilarious, Witherspoon's timely metafictional novel explores the ways (mis)information can shape public discourse in the digital media age ...the wildly entertaining result illuminates the dark side to fame, circa 2021." - Booklife by Publishers Weekly
"Strikingly original ...an innovative literary experiment that supplies a thoughtful commentary on the 'discourse virus' of our age ...Witherspoon tackles a broad spectrum of media, including comically scathing excerpts from tweets, podcasts, blogs, and even academic journals and also keenly exposes the ways in which Strobe, the character, is implicated in his own online assault, due to his obsessive attachment to public life." - Kirkus Reviews
OOF explores the role of satire in a society lurching from one ridiculous crisis to the next, where media outlets rely on clicks to stay alive and everything is filtered through a lens of anger and misinformation.
Strobe Witherspoon just sold his latest satirical novel for a lot of money. The book in question, FLOTUS: A Memoir, is a fictitious autobiography about a former first lady of the United States reflecting on years of misery at the hands of her much older POTUS husband. When a chapter is leaked in advance of the book's publication, an Online Outrage Fiesta (OOF) ensues via news outlets, blogs, Twitter, troll farms, and everything in between. Witherspoon has his life placed under a microscope. Family secrets are exposed. Now, an anthology has been put together to document Witherspoon’s downfall—and settle the score.
”an impressive achievement of unflinching honesty from a noteworthy talent, as resonant and relevant as it is entertaining ...OOF tugs at the threads that connect American cynicism with radical extremism and weaves a character-rich tapestry of insight ...Each voice, whether of a New Yorker journalist or an Internet influencer, is rendered with uncanny fidelity. Perhaps most masterful is that key events are not depicted but merely alluded to, allowing the text to provide an elegant framework for a more personal story painted almost invisibly in the negative space.”– BlueInk Review
"Readers should be prepared to be provoked, irritated, and ultimately contemplative...A valiant attempt at satirizing the almost-too-ludicrous-for-satire world of the online hot take." – IndieReader
"Four out of four stars" – Online Book Club
"a sly satire that imagines a world overrun by internet toxicity." – Foreword
"entertaining and thought-provoking, OOF combines satire and serious social inspection in a novel format that will intrigue literary, political, and social issues readers alike." – Midwest Book Review
"a work of pure creative genius, engaging and thought-provoking ...You know that you are in for a treat when an author makes fun of himself, as Witherspoon wears two hats as an inquisitor general and heretic at the same time.” – Readers' Favorite
"Those interested in “the low art of chronicling human stupidity” will not be able to put this book down ...Fans of works like Dear Committee Members will immediately find a new favorite in this book, as well as a new type of unlikely hero in Strobe Witherspoon.” – US Review of Books
Average rating from 8 members
Well that was a journey that will be forever repeated. Witherspoon is spot-on with the snowball of BS that rains on a simple parade. The argy-bargy of media wanting to be the winner of taking someone down. The BS that manipulates the masses and flicks the hysteria switch. Herd mentality is frightening and very real. This is an emotional rollercoaster with some deep seated truths.
To begin in a somewhat meta manner, Strobe Witherspoon (fictional) has written a parody of a memoir of a former First Lady to a controversial, polarising President. The hyperbolic, hyper-driven media, encompassing traditional journals, broadsheets, tabloids, bloggers, vloggers, podcasters and the like, latch onto the IDEA of the book, spinning story after story, more manic than the previous, escalating hype and outrage to frightening levels. Over an idea. Not even the book itself. This is a cleverly crafted tale, told in transcripts, news clippings, reports and tweets. It is a stark reflection on modern media practices of hype, misinformation and manufactured outrage for clicks. We've seen these players in recent times, watched in horror as they escalate for fever-pitch. This book is both a clever satire and a time capsule for the ages. Witty, thought provoking and utterly gripping, this is a must-read. **Many thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**
Thank you to both #NetGalley and Marginal Books for providing me a copy of Strobe Witherspoon’s (real name?) second novel, OOF: An Outline Outrage Fiesta for the Ages, in exchange for an honest review. #Outlineoutragefiesta is a fresh and witty take on the prior administration, the future of American politics, the ethics of journalism, and the continuous spread of disinformation in the digital era. The plot is told through a collection of various media, including podcast transcripts, tweets, blog articles, email threads, and chapters from the author/protagonist’s satirical novel within a novel, “FLOTUS: A Memoir.” This book (more so a novella) is quite literally a whirlwind. For readers who are sick of the news, the rise of stupidity, and politics, I urge you to read it regardless. While it may not be the best story ever written, it does provide levity to a serious situation and is quite creative. It is also told from multiple perspectives, so you gain insight into how groups, such as the “Contras,” think, which is reflective of their real-life counterparts. The one disturbing detail about the novel is that similar to the protagonist, the author does not have a digital footprint. This leads me to believe that the work was written by more than one author or by a group of writers/editors working at the publishing company. Either way, the sections that contain the fictional memoir are by far the most hysterical. Overall, an entertaining read of our rapidly deteriorating society.
Ah. I mean, OOF. This satire might actually be as clever as it purports to be. At the very least, it cuts through the modern state of affairs in the US like hot knife through butter. Mind you, the sociopolitics of the last few/several years are the proverbial low hanging fruit, ripe for being satirized, but nevertheless kudos to the author for doing it so well. With a multimedia compendium structure of WWZ, though interviews, tweets, blogs, etc. OOF tells a story of one author’s descent into infamy which provides a catalyst for the country’s descent into abyss of its own making. To think, it all begins with a book. Not an especially well written book, even, but a politically charged one. And before it even sees the light of day, it’s not merely ripped to shreds, but those shreds get embroidered into the very fabric of the social media obsessed, paranoid, conspiracy mad culture, serving every ugly bias, every crazy notion, every lamentable discourse. The ensuing circus is determined to destroy the book, the author and those around him, ugly ignorant people doing ugly ignorant things to each other in the name of their own ugly ignorant version of truth and justice. The distinctly American way. OOF is almost too good for its own good. It’s a satire that’s too close to reality. Wildly messed up and yet disturbingly plausible. It makes for a somewhat uneasy read. Fun, but uneasy. It’s an ode to the age of misinformation, spectacularly unbreachable ideological division and pervasive toxicity of social media. The metafiction approach only maximizes the effect. The culture we live in absolutely deserves to have the strobelight exposure. Just slap a seizure warning on it and dare people to read it. A very interesting very timely read. Rec
A wry sideswipe of a satire of modern polarised culture. Highly plausible and deeply messy it's fascinating to have this light shone how we live. A must read
For more bookish posts please visit: https://www.ManOfLaBook.com OOF: An Online Outrage Fiesta for the Ages by Strobe Witherspoon is a satire of the online outrage machine so prevalent in today’s world. This is Strobe Witherspoon’s second novel. Strobe Witherspoon is about to publish a new novel called FLOTUS: A Memoir. While fictional and nameless, FLOTUS is clearly inspired by Melania Trump. The book is not even published, when a frenzy of conspiracy theories arise in cyberspace. Some say this is a thinly disguised biography based on Witherspoon State Department work. After a chapter is leaked, journalists dig into Witherspoon’s past in attempts to discredit him. From there, the world as we know it turns upside down. Unfortunately for all us of, and like all good satire, OOF: An Online Outrage Fiesta for the Ages by Strobe Witherspoon is not far from the truth. Not necessarily in subject matter, but in analysis of the fake outrage machine that has been building for decades. Old literary mechanisms such as sample chapters, articles, and letters (emails) are being used, as well as new ones. Tweet storms, blog posts, and vblog transcripts are also transcribed (which I guess could be equivalent to opinion pieces). Sadly, these highly emotional opinion pieces are replacing legitimate news sources, if there are any left. While the premise of the book is outlandish, it is not out of the realm of possibility in this crazy, partisan world. Our only saving grace is people’s short memories, as well as the need to move from one fake outrage to another very quickly. This clever books attempts, and succeeds, to mimic the online reality by having the reader constantly question what is true. I don’t think we actually ever get a straight answer, as everyone in it are unreliable narrators. Strobe Witherspoon himself is found to falsify information, and others promote conspiracy theories and conjure up “truths” which they claim are between the lines. Putting together unrelated events, people, and “news” they want to believe, which roam around in the echo chambers they visit. The author’s fictional book, FLOTUS, is being ripped apart before it’s even released. No one knows what it’s about, it’s not well written, and it might have just disappeared from public consciousness if they were just leave it alone. OOF, however, satires the low hanging fruits of Internet politics and “experts” very well. The circus which ensues, while fictional, is believable and I could easily see how it could come to pass. It was very concerning how this satire is so close to reality. That being said, our culture, especially the Internet crowd, certainly deserves to be exposed, and what’s better than comedy as a warning?