In E-mails from Hell: The Wrath of William Wyndell, David Earthman’s alter ego, Wyndell, e-mails total strangers, goading, prodding and generally annoying them until they stop replying to his ridiculous emails. Yes, sometimes Wyndell says things you wouldn't say to your worst enemy. But mostly he just annoys his victims, making it hard to identify or side with him in the first place.
Want to sell your car? Find a new roommate? Interview or hire a new employee? Locate your lost dog? All Wyndell will do if he gets a hold of your e-mail address is proceed to ask ridiculous questions ad nausea.
I was ready to be shocked by E-mails from Hell: The Wrath of William Wyndell, but what I got instead was mind amusement mixed with a bit of pity for the “victims” of the pranks.
Earthman, who says the book is based on time he spent “answering online ads, inquiring businesses, and basically menacing anyone who had an e-mail address,” might have been better served to either focus on true e-mail abusers, such as spammers. Unfortunately, he only devotes two e-mail diatribes to those types of victims, and spends the remainder of the book harassing innocent bystanders.
Yes, Earthmen did find a niche to write about, but his bachelor’s degree in broadcasting from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, could probably be put to better use.
Maybe he could write about his time as an English teacher for the Korakuen English Center in Yuzawa, Japan.
Instead, he turns his attention to e-mail harassing college students looking for roommates, business owners hiring new employees, people selling goats, rock bands searching for new drummers, and, yes, the owner of a lost dog.
The fact the he spent sometimes weeks corresponding with his victims says something about both him and said victims—people have way too much time on their hands.
And e-mail, in all of its anonymity, has created people who put up with more than they should. Maybe if we all treated e-mails like phone calls, Earthman would have no one left to harass.
There’s not much to like about E-mails from Hell: The Wrath of William Wyndell. If Earthman ever comes out with a book about e-mail harassing spammers, now that’s a book I’d want to read.