The Jersey Monkey Redux

Last week I shared with you the tale of how I had been induced to revisit my most hated work (most hated by me, that is; I'm not sure anybody else read it) by a charming book club, who liked it because it was sort of about New Jersey. After they finished talking about it I decided I liked it too. I went home, opened it up, and prepared to scan it in and present it to the world again as a cheap Kindle.

As I scanned, retyped, and evaluated, twenty-year-old memories of the book's publication came flooding back. The dull-witted copy editor who worked it over until I gave up arguing. The cover, an ugly illustration only marginally related to the contents of the book. The opening scenes, fatuous and sophomoric. I said to myself, I can shine this up. My skills have improved in twenty years, after all. Furthermore the work is now mine. Mine. The copy editor can go chase herself.

So I did it. I've been amusing myself with it all week. The first thing I did was take out the two sophomoric opening scenes. Next I yanked some characters who didn't need to be in it. Then I changed the names of two of the remaining characters, one because the book club had trouble pronouncing it and the other because I didn't like it. After that I tweaked the computer technology. Desktop computers, not terminals. Then I put back all the commas the copy editor took out, and took out all the commas she put in. Hahaaah! Punctuate this!

Then I messed with the ending a little bit. You'll be happy to know it's still a bitter little book, now even shorter, since I took out all the parts that disgusted me completely. I put together a cover that I like. (That's it at the top of the article. If you hate it, well, you have some idea of my taste.) Since the book is so short now I'm going to offer it for 99¢ on Kindle. Look for it today or tomorrow. It's really cheap, so you have nothing to lose. If you like it, drop me a review. If you hate it, go ahead and review it, but know that as bad as it is it used to be worse.

There aren't that many messes from the past that I can put right. It seemed to me that this was one of them.

Kate Gallison