Singapore Sucks! - The Book

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Singapore Sucks! - The Book

Postby Singa Crew » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:32 am UTC

A writer once described Singapore as “Disneyland with the death penalty”.

However, for many Singaporeans – like myself – who have to put up with the draconian rules for decades now, we are not feeling the Disney at all. Just the penalties. Therefore, we get very annoyed with the mainstream media – especially the government-owned dailies circulating in Singapore – for their unhealthy fixation on the “Disney” side of Singapore.

Well, we know what the doctors say about pain. And we ignore the societal pains plaguing Singapore at our own peril.

That's why we – being the conscientious writers that we are - came together to write Singapore Sucks!

And not because we are sarcastic hacks with entirely too much time on our hands.

Singapore Sucks! is a delightful bouquet of sarcasm, humour and insolent honesty. The discerning reader may even recognise a hint of patriotic fervour.

Through an eclectic collection of short stories, essays and poems, our panel of largely Singaporean writers have captured and managed to convey the peculiar brand of insanity that can only be described as Uniquely Singapore. This book leads you through to the other side of the looking glass; behind all the hocus-pocus you will find hitherto unexplored territory… Here, virgin explorers shall marvel at sights that will satisfy even the most carnal appetites for the strange and macabre.

Welcome to Singapore.

Singapore Sucks! is available via www.singaporesucks.net

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Re: Singapore Sucks! - The Book

Postby Felstaff » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:22 am UTC

Any contribution from Alan Shadrake, dare I ask? ;)
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Re: Singapore Sucks! - The Book

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:47 am UTC

63.00 RM for book and postage = $19.88 AU. I pulled that trigger.

Will get around to it when I can, and maybe leave a review.
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Re: Singapore Sucks! - The Book

Postby ConMan » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:24 pm UTC

If it's any good, I'll have to look into ordering a copy for my girlfriend, who definitely has a lot to say about her home country (and particularly the politics of it).
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Re: Singapore Sucks! - The Book

Postby Singa Crew » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:29 am UTC

@Felstaff:

No contributions from Mr. Shadrake, I am afraid. When I first met him in Singapore, he was already busy with his court case. I didn't think that's a good time to pester him for contributions to my book.

@ Pez Dispens3r:

Did you say 63 RM?!? But... but... a book will cost you just 20 Ringgits and plus the 10 Ringgit postage, it just adds up to 30 Ringgit. Even if you are living in Australia, the publisher shouldn't charge you this much. Did you have to pay a lot for the sales tax?

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Re: Singapore Sucks! - The Book

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:10 am UTC

33 was for the shipping alone.
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Re: Singapore Sucks! - The Book

Postby Singa Crew » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:54 am UTC

@ Pez,

Did you buy more than one book then? Let me ask my publisher for an explanation. Perhaps shipping costs will vary depending on which country they have to ship to. Then there's the sales tax.

I hope you like the book. And I will be available to answer any questions should any of you come across unfamiliar Singaporean terms of concepts.

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Re: Singapore Sucks! - The Book

Postby Singa Crew » Sat Jul 30, 2011 3:57 am UTC

@ Pez Dispens3r,

Hi, I emailed my publisher and the manager at the office sent this reply:

"I believe there is no mistake in terms of the cost charged. As it is impossible to send a book to Australia for 10 ringgit or less.
I think our website may be occasionally confusing. We will try to rectify that.

I will get the person in charge of the website to get back to you on why it was stated as 10 ringgit shipping cost.

Sorry for the confusion on our website. Will get back to you on Monday.

Thanks."


When the webmaster gets back to me, I shall advise him to update my book's webpage. Sorry for any misunderstanding or confusion caused.

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Re: Singapore Sucks! - The Book

Postby Singa Crew » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:44 am UTC

Here's a more detailed explanation from the manager's office:

"I found out from the marketing side, why it was RM63 total for your friend from Australia.

The RM10 additional cost was not shipping estimate. It was part of the price of the book.
When adding a title to the cart, you have to choose your region. This will determine the price for the book in your region.

If your friend from Australia traces his/her steps backwards, he/she will realize that the book in the cart was priced at RM30. And shipping was RM33.

For countries outside of Malaysia, if you buy online from us, Singapore Sucks will be RM30.
You might think this is odd. But it is necessary, because we have to be fair to our distributors in other countries.

For example, I believe Singapore Sucks is about SGD13 in Singapore. If we were to sell to you at RM20 (about SGD 8), then our distributor in Singapore (Mary Martin) will have a hard time selling the books, because Singaporeans will just keep ordering directly from us.

The price differences between regions are due to market prices of books in the respective regions. The distributor cannot sell the book too low below that region's market price for a book of that size/genre/quality/origin.

I'm sure you would not need me to explain why we still opt to go through a regional distributor.

So I hope this answers your question.

You may also observe the same with other books, and try adding them to your cart. If you are located within West Malaysia, then there is no mark-up because this is our own distribution area."


Well, I hope that answers any questions you guys might have.

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Re: Singapore Sucks! - The Book

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:05 am UTC

"If you have to use one sentence - just one - to describe Singapore, what would you say?"
John did a half-turn and took in the gleaming interior of the departure hall.
"All that glitters is not gold," he waxed cryptically.
A team of cleaners were industriously mopping the floor some distance away from us, and the smell of cleaning detergent wafted towards us and around us. With the affected air of a wine connoisseur, John sniffed deeply, and seeing the thoughtful look on my face, continued with his summation:
"And a tub of toxic detergent can smell just as sweet as any rose."

Singapore Sucks! is a collection of essays about disillusionment and frustration. Many of the authors describe experiences travelling overseas, and their incredulity at encountering people who openly discuss politics and freely criticize their government. Other essays detail overheard sheepish statements from Singaporeans in public life: a woman who takes her minister's advice on the dietary value of frozen supermarket meats as unimpeachable, or a younger woman who refuses to draw any parallels between Animal Farm and the current state of Singaporean society. Most of the essays detail the disappointment of being censored and undervalued by a government which nevertheless claims to provide its citizens with a world-class standard of living.

It's difficult not to sympathize with these stories, but many of them fall a little flat. In one essay "Tek Loh" (a pseudonym) complains about the popular fascination with American culture; in another, he describes being snubbed in social circles for only holding a high school diploma. It doesn't exactly make for a biting expose, and some of the criticisms of Singaporean society are blatantly naive: P. Kumar, for example, doesn't seem to think Western governments keep records of their citizen's racial backgrounds, and that CSI is fairly illustrative of Western police work. There are revelations about Singaporean society which deserve condemnation from the international community - such as the absence of any minimum wage, the barriers against political opposition, and sanctioned violence in schools - but they're watered down by more mundane issues related to youth unemployment or Chinese immigration.

The publication itself is okay: the typography is fine, and the editing is adequate. There are a few more typo's than I would like to see, and some of the writers use advanced English words but struggle with basic syntax. But considering English is virtually a second language for Singaporeans these are minor complaints. And if some of the submissions don't read very strongly they're at least short: the dedicated reader could conceivably finish the book in one sitting (I took about four). For some quick insights into Singaporean society, this book performs okay, but it spends too much time examining what is on the surface. Perhaps the threat of defamation is to blame, but none of the accounts seem to offer anything tangible enough to share in the authors' indignation.
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Re: Singapore Sucks! - The Book

Postby Singa Crew » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:59 pm UTC

It has been a while, hasn't it? Much has happened since I last posted on this forum.

For starters, I was interviewed by an anti-death penalty activist based in Singapore. She also helped organize a book launch which didn't really materialize, but one thing at a time, okay?

The interview appeared on her blog in 3 parts. In Part 1, I answered some pretty basic questions about the reasons behind writing and compiling Singapore Sucks! I discussed parallels between Singapore Sucks! and Dubliners (James Joyce) in Part 2 and Part 3 is just a lengthy clarification in response to some false claims made about Singapore Sucks!

Here are the links:

http://rachelzeng.wordpress.com/2011/10 ... ew-part-1/

http://rachelzeng.wordpress.com/2011/10 ... ew-part-2/

http://rachelzeng.wordpress.com/2011/11 ... ew-part-3/

Okay, about that book launch which never happened... Long story here... I did show up at the venue that day, gave my speech and answered some questions from the floor. BUT there was no books. There was no books and no autographing going on that day because the 400 copies of Singapore Sucks! were held back from entering Singapore. The original plan was to have my publisher in Malaysia send the books down to Singapore for my book launch, and an associate even pulled some strings so I could do a pre-launch sale at some public event at the park, but the books were not released into my custody until the book launch was over...

Here's a link if you wish to know more about that unpleasant incident:

http://theonlinecitizen.com/2011/12/400 ... singapore/

In that article, the people at theonlinecitizen were informed that copies of Singapore Sucks! have been removed from the shelves of Kinokuniya (a Japanese chain bookstore), and that was true, but the books were put back on the shelves several days later.

Last but not least, my book is now placed #4 on my publisher's bestsellers list. Not as prestigious as the NYT Bestsellers list or even the one at chain bookstores such as Barnes & Nobles, but it's a start. Take a look at the publisher's website if you want. Their bestseller's list is on the right hand side.

http://gbgerakbudaya.com/bookshop/index ... e072e73da5

And yet, he (my publisher) is still unsure if he wants to do a second print run... Go figure. If any of you know of any publisher who might want to take over, let me know. As far as I understand my contract, if my publisher refuses to do a second print run, I can approach other interested parties.

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Re: Singapore Sucks! - The Book

Postby Singa Crew » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:48 pm UTC

bear.jpg
Picture of Second Edition


SEEKING REVIEWERS FOR SECOND EDITION OF SINGAPORE SUCKS!

Singapore Sucks! is an eclectic collection of short stories, essays and poems about Singapore. Various topics such as conscription in Singapore, the acceptability of corporal punishment, political oppressiveness in our country and Singaporeans’ fascination with white culture are explored via the medium of short stories in the book. The stories contain sarcasm, humour and insolent honesty.

The Second Edition contains a foreword written by me, a Q&A section and one new story.

If you have a blog and would like to write a review for the Second Edition of Singapore Sucks!, please let me know. You can send me an email at singacrew2 [at] gmail [dot] com. Reviewers will receive a free copy of Singapore Sucks!. I will need a postal address in order to mail the book to you.*

* By the way, this complimentary-copy-for-reviewer offer is only available while stocks last. I only have a dozen complimentary copies left.


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