So as you may or may not be aware, last week, with utterly no fanfare, the Tesches released a re-edited version of the first (half) of the first Maradonia book as an e-book on Amazon. You can find it here, it’s only $5.99, and if you don’t have a Kindle you can easily download Amazon’s free “Kindle for PC” or “Kindle for Mac” programs to read it on your computer.
To get the really obvious question out of the way: no, I’m not going to spork it. I already devoted a great deal of time and effort to sporking the original books, and intend on completing the rest of the series if and when they come out, I have little desire to go through this book again to re-rip Tesch a new one. Plus, when it comes down to it, Tesch really didn’t change that much. It’s still the insightfully bad story we all love to hate.
However, what I will do is sort of ramble through the new version, noting any changes that I find amusing (which will be probably be most of them) and calling out any especially noteworthy bits of stupidity that have worked themselves into this new edited masterpiece.
Incidentally, don’t trust Amazon where it says that for the print version it’s 810 pages long, that’s a lie. This edition covers the first fifty-six chapters, or 438 pages, of the original edition of Maradonia, right up to Apollyon’s big meeting where they plot Evil and then sing the Mother Earth song. Except (spoiler alert) it seems that the Mother Earth Song has been excised from this new edition.
Which actually makes me wonder. I’ve only skimmed through parts of this new ebook so far, but from looking at it, it appears the majority of parts that I really hated and mocked openly have been changed. I wonder if the Tesches used my sporkings as a guide for revising this gem? Or maybe I just have excellent judgment about things that have no place in the book.
The ebook opens with a question: What is the Maradonia saga about? It then spends about five pages verbally fellating the Tesches. Not really exaggerating here:
The fans of Stephen King, Anne Rice, Stephanie Meyer and J.K. Rowling will have to prepare another shelf to collect the treasured works of this outstanding new author because the Maradonia Saga is already mapped out for at least ten more unbelievable thrill rides in sweeping epic style (location 59).
Jesus Christ, Tesch, a little humility, please!
Also…Stephen King and Anne Rice? Why the fuck would fans of those authors like the Maradonia saga? I mean, Stephanie Meyer writes for morons, and JK Rowling writes for children, so that vaguely makes sense…
What are the books? Glad you asked. Aside from what we already know:
7. Maradonia and the Lost Secret of Kra
8. Maradonia and the Unleashed Beast
9. Maradonia and the Curse of Abbadon
10. Maradonia and the Vampire Kings
Brilliant. What the world needs is Gloria Tesch writing a vampire novel.
We start off with a quote from The Prophesy of the Seer, which is basically from Ezekiel 38. Keeping it classy.
So the opening has changed, where in print it started off with Apollyon’s meeting, that’s been cut out, which is good because it was pointless.
Instead we get a new framing device with some chump named Professor Robert Epstein, who teaches elementary school. And he calls himself professor. Anyway, there’s an oil painting there from a famous artist that is of 9/11, (although Tesch refuses to actually say 9/11) and a little girl named Emily cries when she sees it because her father died in it.
“Sorry, I did not know that!” The art teacher responded roughly (location 222).
Even after revising, they still don’t understand English. Or maybe the art teacher is just an asshole.
Epstein busts out a storybook and start reading to the kids about a war in Heaven, which is basically the story of the fall of Lucifer, e.g. Apollyon. We get lots of random italics and unnecessarily Capitalized words. Anyway, God wins and casts Apollyon out and issues a long-ass decree, that ends with:
“But at the End of the Age… In the Last Days… When the two Silver Birds attack the Twin Brothers, Two Children will arrive in your land and these children will show you your limitations.” (location 311).
Fuck you, Gloria and Gerry Tesch. You know, I don’t have a problem with authors who want to use 9/11 in their story, they just should handle it tactfully. Turning 9/11 into a symbol that Maya and Joey are shortly going to save Maradonia? Fuck you.
Also, this is totally stupid because lest we forget, Apollyon wouldn’t even know about 9/11 because Maradonia is a completely different fucking world.
So Gertrude, who is a woman now, shows up and tells Apollyon that two kids have arrived in Maradonia. Of course, he already knows some of this:
The king was pretty good informed by his Border Patrol (location 424).
Yeah. The editing was well done.
Apollyon argues with a couple chumps, pointing out “There is always the right moment for stealing” (location 438).
Eventually Epstein starts reading the actual book of Maradonia.
We actually learn their last name, Swanson, right off the bat. This part isn’t terribly written and has actually been revised significantly. The idiotic bit about Joey winning the poster contest is completely gone, and we actually follow Maya into her first class, where she is promptly tripped by Alana Terrence!!! Sadly, there is no mention of ‘The Gothic Movement’.
I have to say, one of the biggest ‘improvements’ of this edition is that there aren’t ‘random’ quotation ‘marks’ around words.
Again, significant revisions. Alana no longer talks like she’s retarded, Maya isn’t a black belt in karate. Maya still beats the shit out of her, though, and we get a couple gems:
One of the boys screamed, “Dayummmmm!” (location 591)
Then, when Alana’s friends try to grab Maya and drag her off, Maya turns around and knocks Dorothy unconscious with a single punch. The crowd is impressed:
A dark skinned boy yelled, “Bingo! Knock out… that white girl is a crazy fighter!” (location 605)
Joey is pissed at Maya for being cooler than him because she’s so popular now for beating up Alana, so he punches her in the back of the head to knock her into the pool. So, he’s even more of a shit in this version. Good to know. On the way home, though, Maya calls him on it and says that she hates him, which is a plus.
Chapter Four, Five, and Six
No real changes, except “Over the tree, dumb shit!” was changed to “Over the tree, stupid!” Probably a good choice, but still, I’m saddened. All of my favorite lines are being cut. Although since all of my favorites are favorites because of how bad they are, that’s probably a good thing.
The journey through the cave is essentially the same, except for now a couple of Apollyon’s Hoodmen are following them through it, for reasons that are unclear. And, it seems, irrelevant.
They meet Hoppy, who then turns into a dwarf. The fuck?
Chapter Nine – The Grasshopper
Wait a second, he just turned into a dwarf! Shouldn’t this be called The Dwarf, and have a picture of a dwarf instead of a grasshopper? The dwarf, who, as it turns out, is named Hoppy? But he can’t accompany them on their journey. Which is just as well, because he was an utterly pointless character.
Chapter Ten & Eleven
Minimal changes. One change that Tesch has done well is Maya keeps noticing these floating heads – presumably evil spirits – following them around and it’s freaking her out. It actually adds some nice building tension to these scenes instead of just having Maya and Joey wander from one set piece to the next.
Chapter Twelve (Originally Glitter of Darkness, now “Imaginations”)
The Poison Glitter Tree has been completely excised, which is good because it was moronic. Instead, Maya freaks out about the heads following them.
So Maya and Joey go in to visit the frog Oraculus and POOF! He turns into an Elf. Yes. I’m dead serious. He turns into a fucking Elf.
This chapter was seriously trimmed down. Oraculus doesn’t spoil the entire book and he also doesn’t reveal some key points, namely about the pool of blood, which is a good idea.
Chapters Fourteen and Fifteen
“Emotionally exhausted and irrationally confused” was changed to “emotionally exhausted and confused”. But for some reason Tesch left in the retarded conversation about mountains.
Joey goes into the drink, but he saves himself instead of being rescued by Sagitta. By grabbing one of the overhanging rocks of the waterfall, pulling himself up, and then making his way ashore. Yeah, that’s likely.
Instead of bringing his mom’s kitchen knife, Joey brought his dad’s machete, which makes a bit more sense, although a machete wouldn’t really fit inside a backpack. But it does make more sense when he uses it to murder the snake.
Chapters Eighteen – Twenty-One
Everything is essentially identical, except for the removal of everything about Hoppy.
Overall, I approve of all of the changes that have taken place. My biggest complaint, though, is that there were so few of them. And it’s not like Tesch just went out and took out every piece of writing that was actively retarded, because there are plenty of them still in here. Had Tesch rewritten all of these chapters as extensively as she rewrote the first few chapters, this book would have taken a significant step forward. It still would have been really bad, but hey, baby steps, right? I’m actually disappointed at how much of this book is still word for word identical from the previous version.