BOOK NOTES: 'The Useless Critic' Alternative Website, Online Bookstore Features Writing on Popular Culture

By David M. Kinchen
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the wave of the journalism future is Internet based, so I won't even try. One of the latest publications to come my way is an alternative online site called The Useless Critic,  with bricks and mortar locales in Martinsburg, WV and Brooklyn, NY, where administrators Nader Boulberhane and Brittany Kemp live.

Brittany Kemp, originally from Erie, PA, is the writer and journalist who founded The Useless Critic  http://www.theuselesscritic.com/. Nader Boulberhane, who grew up in Shepherdstown, WV, is the Martinsburg, West Virginia writer and co-administrator (with Kemp)  for The Useless Critic. He told me via email that the two have been writing the site for two years now  and have opened an online eBook Store http://www.theuselesscritic.com/p/store.html.  

"Our goal is to promote alternative literature," Boulberhane said. "We want to publish and send out works that are unlike any others and that use writing devices unseen in many works of current literature."

 
 Boulberhane was the first writer invited to join the website. He said: "We started as an entertainment blog, and we are now an up and coming website that covers as many domains of the pop culture spectrum as possible. We feature everything from Music Mixes and weekly acting award segments, to interviews with top bands like The Yelle from Europe and even Taylor Swift. We are currently trying to arrange an interview with actress Mila Kunis from the movie 'The Black Swan'." 

The bookstore is currently featuring two works, with a third one is coming  in the next several weeks, he said.

"Our aim is to feature work that is outside the traditional ideas of writing and literature," Boulberhane told me. "
They feature comic devices that are unlike most other pieces of writing in the world. Also, the Useless Critic items are available exclusively in our store. We feature "The Repulsive: Short Plays and Other Things" by Al MackCat. It is a series of short plays, and the genres are hard to classify. It might be called Black Humor, but it isn't exactly in any specific genre. It is a piece that is purely meant to entertain. We want to feature writing that people will enjoy reading, not just once but over and over. Even now when I read over "The Repulsive," I still laugh even after 100 times. It isn't made to just make people smile. Smiling is not enough. This is a book that with goal of actually making someone roll on the floor laughing and have grape soda shoot out of their nose." 


Boulberhane said he has a similar reaction to  'Green Green Charlie'  by Andre Abernacky: "It is a comic novel that is set in a fictional town called Queen's Rock near Fredericksburg VA. This one is not black humor, but it is instead a look into the internal monologue of a socially awkward man that is thrown out of his element as he enters a small town that has more than just secrets. Even now when I read "Green Green Charlie" you can feel the layers. It starts with an ordinary cozy-soft almost uncomfortable feeling. Then, each chapter leads to something darker and darker." 

Coming soon The Useless Critic will have "So I May Have Accidentally Married a Polish Vampire," by Al MackCat. The site looks very professional and is packed with interesting writing. Check it out.

 
Website 
http://www.theuselesscritic.com/

Online eBook Store 
http://www.theuselesscritic.com/p/store.html

Interview with Taylor Swift 
http://www.theuselesscritic.com/2011/04/q-and-taylor-swift.html
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