Joshua S. Friedman
In an attempt to slake the appetites of Dog and Troll fans, all eBooks will be free for a limited time!!! All paper-backs are still the same price.
I live in the beautiful state of Michigan with my girlfriend, and our cat, Chewy.
First time author but a long time writer.
When I'm not banging away at the keyboard, I enjoy fishing, disc-golf, and kicking back a few cold ones.
I've recently made my books available for print. The print version is the second edition, and written slightly better. In addition, spelling and grammatical errors have been fixed.
I also enjoy reading and reviewing works from other Smashwords authors; especially those offering their books for free hoping someone will read them. Well, someone is. Slowly but surely. I encourage my fellow Smashwords constituents to read and write honest and insightful reviews of my novels. Just contact me and I'll send you a coupon code via email to download an eBook (of your choosing), for free.
Where to find Joshua S. Friedman online
Where to buy in print
by Joshua S. Friedman
Published: November 17, 2014
A short story by the author of The Dog and Troll series.
Novelist and best-selling author, Elena Morraco made a living giving her readers the willies. But her stories never scared her. She was looking for real horror, she was searching for true terror. Then she received an anonymous email, inviting her to stay at the Degrassi estate.
by Joshua S. Friedman
Scott and Kate get more than they bargain for while vacationing in a cabin off the shore of Lake Huron.
The Day the Whole World Went Away
by Joshua S. Friedman
Adam Keplinger wakes from a New Year's Eve Party only to find it's three days later and the world has ended. Against crazed survivors and seemingly possessed children Adam seeks to find his kid sister... if she hasn't already been taken by the Sweetie-man.
Joshua S. Friedman's tag cloud
Smashwords book reviews by Joshua S. Friedman
The Misfortune Teller
on Oct. 12, 2013
Personally, I've never trusted traveling-carney folks. The fact that the circus gang appeared to have no motive in kidnapping teenagers makes the story all the more creepy. Although the story engaging and the dialogue humorous and believable enough, the plot lacked any twists or originality. Furthermore, I'd hardly call 18 pages a novel.
I give it three out of five stars.
on Oct. 12, 2013
Writing short stories is a cumbersome task; trying to pack all the prose of a novel into a minimal amount of space can be tedious, to say the least. Still, every character should be unique. I found the characters unbelievable as actual people. No motivation. No drive. Also, I had trouble following the story-lines. Where was the plot? The thesis? The point? Also, the book contained way too many: they were, there was, it was, he was, she had, had been, etc. I feel the book could have benefited from a thorough editing.
'Though an honest attempt in an already cramped genre, I feel "Star Diary" failed to hit the bar.
two out of five stars.
Hunters - Rising
on Oct. 13, 2013
I found this novel intriguing though episodic. First off, as with most eBooks, editing was a main issue. Way too many phrasings with the word "had". He had yellow pants becomes he wore yellow pants. He had made a belt becomes he fashioned a belt. Had caught becomes caught. And had taken a seat simply becomes, sat. The spaces between chapters seemed unnecessary, and breaking scenes, tsk, tsk, tsk. Never end a chapter and then start a new chapter in the middle of a scene (as was in the case between chapters three and four), 'though clearly the author finds it imaginative and clever, to the reader, its just jarring. Another thing is that the author jumps in and out of different characters' heads. If we're in Grimey's, our protagonists', point of view, then clearly we can't know what the other characters are feeling or thinking unless they relay it verbally. Shifting back and forth between view points sometimes makes it unclear as to which character is speaking. Also, the characters weren't much different from any other in the book. Each character needed to exuded their on quirks, foibles, and fears, and I'm not just talking about how Grimey was scared when he saw the dragon. Naturally, a real living dragon would make anyone piss in their pantaloons. And while the characters faced many a beastie, our protagonist never endured a moment of inner turmoil or conflict.
The overall story and plot-line was very episodic, they were either hunting or in the tavern. This dragged the story out longer than it needed to be, and while jammed pack with action, the story quickly becomes trite. The book builds to this climactic show-down against a dragon and then disappoints by suddenly ending without any conflict resolution what-so-ever.
two out of five stars
Wild About Larry
on Oct. 17, 2013
I like this book.
The text contained odd spacing between paragraphs, probably due to improper formatting with the "show/hide" feature, which caused hiccups when converting through Smashwords' meet-grinder.
My biggest critique is with the author's research. Clearly, the surfing and Australian lingo was studied, or the author just wrote about what they knew.
However, (and I realize this is supposed to be satirical), the author didn't do much research into America, despite that a good chunk of the novel takes place there. Not all Americans smoke pot, and the ones that do, certainly don't do it on the street. This isn't Amsterdam. Not everyone in this country is a gun-touting-sex-crazed-self-industrialist telling every single person they meet to go "F" themselves. Once again, I understand this is a satire, but come on. The original White House didn't burn down in D.C, it was Pennsylvania; Philly if I'm not mistaken. Even in small towns, cops don't just look the other way at illegal drug-trafficking and distribution. The cops certainly wouldn't just casually stroll up to a barn and buy weed. That sounded like a major operation, one that effected the entire community. That's when the DEA get involved. Another thing, I understand how the barn exploded, but not Principal Givens car. It was outside the barn and the bumper just fell off. I was under the impression Kenny, Brian , and Neil were minors (under the age of 18). So they couldn't have been arrested, posted bail, and made to do community service for an accident like that. Juvenile vandalism and destruction to private property, at best. They'd receive a slap on the wrist, probation, and a hefty fine, but no jail time. The cops would have brought the boys back to the school, and then released them into the custody of their parents. Instead, one of them smokes a joint in the back of a police cruiser. First of all, isn't he handcuffed? Secondly, cops in America frisk someone before arresting them and certainly before placing them in their car.
The author jumped in and out of view points of characters, and lacked any clear protagonist. We begin bounding back and forth between Dr. Surning and the three boys, with the occasional sprinkle of Humvat. The second act bounces between Humvat, the boys, and slight smatterings of Dr. Surning. The third act is nearly all Humvat, and Dr. Heather Surning, who is literally the opening character, recedes from the story all together except for this paper she's writing. Then she gets on a plane and we never hear from her again. She had no role in the plot. She would have been better served as a flash-back of one or all three of the boys.
I understand the writer is from the UK, but if we're to believe the story actually takes place in the US then people can't say things like, "telephoned," "lift," or "whilst." Americans just don't use those phrasings. And all the same characters spoke the same way with words like "reckon" and (once again), "whilst." Not everyone gulps "erm". Some utter "um" or "uh". Also, you have to use American spelling: realized not realised. honored not honoured, etc.
And here's the big thing, there's no way a show that uses language such as Larry O unabashedly wields about, would ever become a hit show on a nation-wide-affiliated public broadcasting network. American television programs are fastidiously regulated by the FCC.
Once again, I realize this is a satire, but many of the key plot points were just down-right unbelievable.
And who were those people at the end? What did that have to do with anything? I (your reader) wanted to know what happened to Humvat upon his return home. Isn't this a comedy? It's supposed to end "happily ever-after", not "what happened to Humvat?"
However, all that being said, I really enjoyed this book. Cleverly written and at times I even laughed out-loud. Without the aforementioned "problems" this could have been a solid five stars.
I also enjoyed the mini-prologues at the beginning of each chapter. A daring move, one I'm not advocating. I'm just saying it worked in this particular novel.
Three out of five stars.
The Cannibal's Prayer
on Oct. 20, 2013
"Bradley never understood. It frustrated him..."
I feel his pain.
The writer employed confusing, run-on sentences. Often, a sentence lacked capitalization of the first word. I never knew who was talking and there were no descriptions of the characters. The writer used - to mark dialogue instead of proper quotation marks.
Nearly ever sentence began with, "There was a woman", "They were driving", "I felt angry", or some other reasonable facsimile. Then the author drops in a name like David, Joanna, Gary, Vanessa. Who are these people? The only details were smut. Which leads me to another point, clearly this is adult reading material and should be properly labeled as such.
In the end, I couldn't even follow the story-line (I'm not even sure if there was one), and ended up skimming through it.
One out of five stars.
World War H
on Feb. 16, 2014
I thought this story was rather interesting, but we'll get to that. First off, using the title World War H; is it a world war? Is it lazy to pick a title so close to World War z? The author used many repetitive words like: realized (realised), flesh, and zombies. I understand this is a story about zombies, but the word "zombie" appears numerous times in each paragraph. Perhaps the author would benefit from utilizing a thesaurus. Furthermore, never use a hash-tag (#) as a page break. Use ***. Now for the interesting stuff. At first I was confused that zombie Keith felt pain. He sweated, shivered, and even experienced disorientation. This brings up an interesting point: Do zombies think like we do? TV suggests they don't, but I guess the only way to know for sure is to become a member of the walking-dead. And the idea that shambling cadavers can reverse the zombie disease by feasting on other corpses is one that has not be dabbled with. Well done introducing new themes and elements into an otherwise over-crowded genre. Make this into a novel. I would love to see zombie Keith start an undead-revolution. Keep up the good work!
Holiday Horror Classics Presents: Bum Luck
on Feb. 16, 2014
Once I understood what was going on, I rather liked this short. But, I must say the change in font was rather jarring, and the preternatural page break between pages 4/6 have me worried that some of the story was cut out. Applying multiple fonts can adversely effect how the story format appears on Smashwords once it's gone through meat-grinder. I suggest uploading an appended version all in one font. But let's get down to it: is this a short story or a poem? Pick one. utilizing rhyme scheme within block-paragraphs without proper use of commas (this was a problem throughout), is just jarring. I had to skim through the story a second time just to figure out what was going on because the wording was so jumbled. This brings me to another point, consider combining all your Holiday Horror Classics into a book of either short stories or poems. Once again, pick one. Because, conjoining prose with poetry is unnecessary and awkward for the reader i.e.: rewrites. Don't use three exclamation marks when one will suffice. Green-eyed not green eyed; without the hyphen it's like saying the words: with green and eyed, instead of with green eyes. Another thing that inspires me to cajole the author into revising this into a poem is the fact that the down-trodden (shuddering at the word) bum is also the "protagonist", giving the selection an introspective feel indicative of poetry. I'd enjoy this more were it a collection of poems.
on Oct. 23, 2014
Okay...as I've said over and over again, short stories are hard to write. The secret: subtext. Basically, your story needs to be about more than what's on the page (or in this case, screen); a story between the lines; so to speak. You have to say something. I found no subtext within "Naples". Clearly (but I've been wrong before), the author is writing from personal experience. Kudos. Take that pain and misery and turn it on its head. That's what real writers do. Just make sure there's a point to what you're writing about.
Furthermore, this lacked proper editing. Egregious and inconsistent spaces between paragraphs; awkward phrasings and jumbled sentences.
You realize you're allowed to check that before publishing, right?
I understand people speak differently on your side of the pond, but the sentence, "I questioned her rather puzzled," is a grammatical travesty.
And how the psychic "Seemed to be a lot of fun": How did she seem fun? Did her hazel-eyes sparkle with a whimsical countenance? Did she chuckle hoarsely? SHOW ME these people/characters.
Your writing needs a lot of work, but don't get discouraged. You obviously have a lot of heart. And it shows. All the best, and keep writing.