Jeffrey Alan Payne’s novel “MFN – A Cultural Satire” was just released, but he’s already receiving enough feedback to convince him that the book is resonating with the public. It’s not necessarily positive feedback,
though. The issue in the forefront has been the book’s title.
“I’ve had several people comment through Facebook and my website, www.jeffreyalanpayne.com, declaring that they could never feel comfortable reading a book with those words in it,” he reports from his home in Toronto, “In reality, if they actually read it, they’ll find that those terms are a tiny part of the story. The book is about
one guy’s struggles to become a major market radio personality.”
When the lead character and his morning show partner perform an obscene spoof of a gangsta rap song, it’s leaked onto a download site. “MFN” represents the initials of words used in the chorus of
the song, which include a racial slur and a profane expletive. Before the duo
can destroy the evidence, the song becomes a worldwide pop phenomenon, much to
their dismay and the destruction of their careers.
“I don’t speak that way. Nobody I know talks like that. If you do, your opinion isn’t worth pondering to begin with. The words aren’t used with mean spiritedness or malice; they were chosen to cut through the monstrous selection of titles on the saturated book market,” the writer contends, “The truth is, language like that has been used by certain rap artists in their songs. In the story, the lyrics are exponentially more offensive because the rappers are radio shock jocks, who happen to be white and in their forties.”
Since the book’s release, Payne has been receiving complaints and chides from friends and strangers alike, online. He takes the negative assertions in stride, “There is a segment of the population who thrive on being upset about verbal injustices, even if they’re not members of the group being mentioned. I
gave a copy of the book to my African-Canadian neighbour, and he thought it was
a compelling read. He found it entertaining and funny.”
“Meanwhile, the wife of one of my white colleagues asked him what the book title meant. When he told her, she threw it down like it was covered with Anthrax. She has displayed obvious disdain for me and the book, ever since.”
Time will tell whether Payne was right, and the title helps the book “cut through” to bigger sales or the mass alienation of potential customers.
“MFN” is available on Amazon and Kindle retail websites.