We can’t stop hating on Onision
By Meredith McLaughlin (Editor-in-Chief) and Gabby Curran (Executive Editor)
Stones to Abbigale is a “book” by Gregory Jackson, known online as Onision. This “book” is self published; he wrote it after not reading a book for 14 years. Everything about this work is a muddled mess; I’ve read it at least ten times trying to understand why someone would write this. It is my Vietnam.
Stones to Abbigale has one main character, James, who serves as a stand in for the author. This isn’t a deep analysis, Greg boasts “James is essentially a better version of myself. His home, his school & his life all resemble my own at his age. The people James analyzes and is surrounded by are not so unlike those I’ve known as well,” in the description for his book on Amazon. It’s ironic that the people James is surrounded by are based on real people Greg knew, because Greg writes human beings with the same level of insight as someone who was introduced into society for the first time at 20 would write. With that in mind, it might be interesting to look at some of the more prominent secondary characters to understand how Greg views other people.
Besides James, the most important character in Stones to Abbigale is, of course, Abbigale. She is James’ love interest and the embodiment of pity porn and not much else. She has one (1) moment of agency, where she berates James for assuming she is “broken,” and it’s one of the only good moments in the book. This is of course undercut by Abbigale breaking down and admitting that yes, she is broken and that shes so so thankful James noticed. Even though Abbigale is the second most important character, she’s only important in how she serves James. She either serves as a figure for him to save or a figure to give him love. Their relationship isn’t one that can exist in real life, especially considering Greg’s abysmal and abusive track record with love.
Davis is James’ best friend, though that term is used loosely. In reality, Davis is more like an obsessive fan, someone who exists only to cheer up James and say things like “Hallelujah, James is here to save us from the evil clouds!” It’s heavily implied Davis is in love with James, even after James negs him for feeling emotionally wrecked after surviving a school shooting. Davis later gets run over and dies like a dog in one of a series of horrific events that Greg uses to inject pathos into his empty, banal story.
Lisa, James sister, is treated as an afterthought, therefore she’s my favorite character out of spite. James hates her because she gossips all the time and apparently has a lot of boyfriends. Greg is merciless in making her out to be this screeching banshee, describing her as someone “…who thought she was so important, everyone around her just had to hear everything she had to say no matter how trivial the topic.” Later, Lisa’s friend dies in the school shooting, and from the little we are told, Lisa is distraught. James shows no sympathy to his sister, or any to any character besides Abbigale, and even slut-shames her when he notices she’s upset. When James’ mom leaves their home to live with her boyfriend in Spokane, Lisa leaves with her, and with that leaves the story.
Hopefully it’s clear that James (and Greg) treat people objects that provide a service. His cold and clinical treatment of others is a character trait, James describes how he has “enjoyed seeing how people move around and talk to each other, like they’re all animals at the zoo.” This book is poorly written, but even if Greg wrote on Hemingway’s level, it still suffers from how terribly Greg treats the secondary characters.
Just when I thought Onision couldn’t get any more inconceivable as a human being, I found out that he is the author of three self-published books. The first of these, Stones to Abbigale, is nothing short of a literary masterpiece––riddled with grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and one-dimensional characters, it did not fail to meet my already high expectations of Onision’s writing.
The book opens with the story’s protagonist, James, ruminating on just how special he is because he doesn’t like anything. A troubled soul, James isn’t like other guys: he always feels like “an alien who had a VIP pass to submerge [himself] in primitive human culture just for entertainment.” Unable to relate to any of his peers, James braves the world alone––that is, until he meets Abbigale, a girl who is somehow different from the rest of the students at James’ high school. They are paired together in art class and share some kind of connection because he makes her laugh once. Shortly afterwards, we are introduced to Davis, a.k.a. the Human Sycophant Prop. Several shenanigans ensue, including James “saving” Abbigale from her abusive ex-boyfriend, a school shooting, Abbigale moving in with James, and the protagonists’ school burning down. Thank goodness for the reader, James and Abbigale’s totally healthy and normal relationship stands the test of time.
I’m going to be blunt: this book is a shitshow. Onision isn’t wrong when he calls James an alien because 90% of the interactions he describes wouldn’t ever take place in reality. You’ve got romanticized abusive relationships, teachers calling students the F-word with zero repercussions, and the craziest, most unhealthy relationship between the two main characters painted as the epitome of human romantic interaction. This is High School Musical meets Law & Order in the worst way possible, and I don’t hate anyone enough to recommend this book to them.
To conclude, I thought I would include a compilation of some of my favorite quotes. Onision is nothing if not the reincarnation of William Shakespeare:
- “I could hear a scream in the back of my mind reminding me my dorkiness and borderline obsession was escaping through my face.”
- “I loved that she did everything I would have done, leaving no room for me to imagine potential alternatives to what she felt about Jason’s chauvinistic act.” (Nothing more sexy than a controlling boyfriend, amiright?)
- “Like a dam rapidly cracking open she began to pour out as I kissed her marks.”
- “What if stars were like birds, and they took craps on us[?]”
Image Source: Amazon.com.