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View Comments: The roles of commenters in Thinks Out Loud

Before the writing of Thinks Out Loud, there was the actual blog, the late Thinking Out Loud, a profound and telling commentary on culture, politics and oral health. I was always pleased, and a little shocked, when a reader would write a comment after a posting. Proof of connection.

A fun part of writing TOL was the inclusion of comments by the blog’s readers at the end of each posting. Comments gave a posting a sense of completion, again, a verification that someone was responding to the blog. (If a blog falls in a forest and no one comments, does it make a sound?)

After a while, the commenters’ roles took on a mini-plot aspect within the larger context of the book. Some commenters were real fans of the blog, others quite skeptical of the goings-on. One or two came to promote their own blobs, ahem, blogs. Some commenters appeared only once, but many of them pop up throughout the book. They even reveal aspects about themselves. Dolfan is constantly going out on auditions. FreeZone is always trying to top the bloggers’ exploits with his own adventures. And Explica, well, she’s the witty ex-wife.

Note: Two of the main characters, tallboy and Jeannie, become part of the blogging team.

Far from an afterthought, the commenters are a real part of the novel, a way to open up and enliven the blog postings, for bloggers do not want their posts to fall in a forest and not be heard, or something like that.

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT THE BOOK AND AMAZON: If you order Thinks Out Loud from Amazon Prime, you will be receiving an older version that is out of date and whose printing is lighter than the current edition. If on Amazon, order from the Thinks Out Loud option which will be the newer better print version. You can also order the newer version directly from the publisher via this website,, or from your local bookstore, which will either have the book in stock or available via a quick special order from Ingram, the wholesaler. 

Thinks Out Loud, a Blog at First
by Martin Perlman