When a student asked the Yahoo! Answers community for help with a school assignment on "The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To" by DC Pierson, he or she probably didn't expect to hear from the author himself. Or to get a bit of a scolding.
"Yahoo! Answers is notorious for being full of people asking the Internet questions the Internet can't answer," author DC Pierson told TODAY.com when asked why he choose to respond to a student's plea for homework help on the the popular question-and-answer site. "It just made me want to answer it."
"I haven't been able to finish this book. Can someone give me a complete review, including everything important? I REALLY need this," the student begain the cry for help, under the username "♥ Idiot America ~ ϟƘƦІןן∑x ♥."
"I had to think about it for a while because I didn't want to be dismissive and defensive," Pierson explains, referring to the student's question. He said he understood how the student felt, having been in a similar situation himself in the past, but something about the "huffy list of excuses" offered by the individual irked him.
What's more, Pierson said, his debut novel is fun to read. It's about a geeky 15-year-old boy having a typically tough time in high school until his typical teenage live life turns into a Sci-Fi adventure after he befriends a teen who doesn't sleep. And, as Pierson explains, "there is swearing and sex and stuff like that in it."
The student didn't include an age with the Yahoo! Answers post, but the excuses for not reading the assigned "Boy Who Couldn't Sleep And Never Had To," will sound familiar to anyone who's ever attended high school: "I only got the list of book[s] a month ago, and it took me a while to get the book because the library I live next to is getting work done, and it was on hold already," the student claimed. "I've been busy, as well. And I'm no where near a fast reader. I've gotten somewhat through it, but I won't be able to finish it."
Pierson, who got his start in improv comedy, was unfazed by these excuses from the moment he received a Google Alert notifying him that someone posted something about his book. After a while, he crafted a lengthy reply to the student:
Hi! My name's DC Pierson, I wrote the book "The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep And Never Had To." First off, I'm really excited that my book is being suggested for summer reading. On the other hand, I'm bummed out that you don't want to try and finish it, and not even because you think it's bad, but just because it seems like work instead of like fun.
I'm not going to sit here and act like I didn't sometimes not read assigned books for class in high school. Even though it's referenced once in my book, the book you're avoiding reading, I've never actually read "The Scarlet Letter." So I'm sympathetic to your plight. But I think you'll find there's a ton more sex, swearing, and drugs in my book than anything else you have been or will be assigned in high school, and I don't mean in the way your teacher will tell you "You know, Shakespeare has more sex and violence than an R-rated movie!" I mean it's all there, in terms you will readily understand without having to Google them. Plus not once to I refer to anything as a "bare bodkin" or anything like that.
I guess all I'm saying is, of all the books not to read, to beg the Internet to read for you because your library is being remodeled, mine seems like an odd choice. (I recently had to read it aloud for an audiobook edition, and we recorded it in about 10 hours, and I was not reading fast at all. Maybe read it aloud to yourself an hour a night between now and when class starts? Or get together with other kids who have to read it for school and read it to each other? Maybe one of these other kids will be so impressed with your oratory skills you guys will end up making out. That would be pretty cool, right?)
Here, I'll give you an extra hint you'll get to put in your paper if you end up writing it: It was all real. A lot of people have asked me if it was supposed to be real or not, and my feeling is, it was. You won't know what I'm talking about unless you read 'til the end, though. And you might disagree with me on this "it was all real" thing once you get there. Just because I wrote it doesn't make my opinion more valid than yours. Wouldn't it be cool to tell your teacher, "The author says he thinks (it) was real but he's an idiot and I disagree with him and here's why!"
I finished my book. I bet you can, too.
Satisfied with what he said, Pierson took a screenshot of the Yahoo! Answers page and turned to Twitter and Tumblr.
"I'm a full-service author," he wrote, jokingly.
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