The Lipless Gods remains unreviewed. It could be she's such a stinker the brave few who've bought it (thank you!!!) or downloaded a sample (thank you!!!) are a sympathetic lot, well-aware of the fledgling novelist's likely over-sensitivity towards their firstborn. I assure you, I am the definition of ironclad. All objectivity vanished roundabout the thirteenth manuscript polish.
The curiosity towards what a stranger thinks about the novel is moderately hobbled by personal experience. Damnable Hollywood is to blame.
One bright summer morning during my Ixtlan internship I was handed an advance reading copy of Tom Clancy's Executive Orders. Oliver's assistant Annie told me to run off two copies of what memory would like to call 1000 pages in it's pre-pub form (the hardcover clocks in under 900 pages; the mass market lists at 1300+).
Did she inform the pimply intern Oliver had to review the book? Maybe. Probably. I was a little spaced out in those days, still big-eyed over living in Los Angeles, and I was likely more terrified of the process of photocopying the book correctly than the over-riding reason why. If she told me to set the photocopies on the desks of particular Ixtlan employees once done, I don't remember.
Stone's review is meta. Just enough detail included to make a New York Times reader believe Stone had sat down and read the book cover-to-cover. However, a beefier, more thorough textual analysis is noticeably absent, replaced by shots at Clancy's politics and garnishings of Stone's biography, all wrapped up in a cheesy Hemingway-style third person machismo. Clever. Who would dare question whether or not Papa read the book he's reviewing?
For all I know, Oliver consumed an army's worth of ribs while reading anything, and the bonus Executive Orders copies were back up for the eventuality of pages intractably sealed by a bucket's worth of Heinz 57 sauce.
Later in his career, Clancy got a bad rap for co-writing his novels, the proven Patterson/Cussler assembly line method. But give the guy his props. At least he was upfront about someone helping heft a 600-page load. Unlike, maybe, potentially, I-can't-say-for-sure, Stone and 1 or 2 co-readers helping assemble a whopping 1000-word book review.
Will The Lipless Gods ever get reviewed or even read? I hope so. I don't think it's crap and I've written a ton of crap. Even gleefully burned some. And for what it's worth, my wife and at least one former co-worker signed off on TLG. And it remains hella affordable at $.99.