Amazon Redeemed

In my more snarky moments, I have had some fun at the expense of Amazon’s review system (see The Amazon One Star Review and probably one or two other places as well). It’s therefore only fair that I draw your attention to my favourite Amazon reviewer. Step forward: Dr M von Vogelhausen.

Over more than one hundred reviews, the possibly pseudonymous doctor has subverted the entire Amazon system. A comic persona, an on-going narrative, word-play and surreality all play their part in a nice piece of meta where the reviews become worthy of review.

Among my favourites are his look at ‘Nigella Express’ (headline: ‘The golden age of steam’) and the ‘Galvanized Hex Outdoor Rabbit/Guinea Pig Playpen Run’.

Click on the link above and read through before Amazon discovers the truth and stops approving his reviews.

The Amazon One-Star Review

If most reviews say more about the reviewer than what’s being reviewed, consider the Amazon One-Star review. These are generally a breed apart. A one-star review essentially says the work has such little value it should never have been released on the public. As a psychological road map, it’s invaluable. Take a look at these, all from Amazon. Grammar, writer’s own.

HERMAN MELVILLE – MOBY DICK

I have read a lot of books in my life but this was the most miserable reading experience I ever had. There was absolutely no story. It was all about fishing… If you want to be a sailor this might be the book for you but personally I think it is a colossal waste of time. – ONE STAR!

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE – COMPLETE WORKS

Shakespeare may be a genius, but cmon, this is the worst reading material i have ever seen. – ONE STAR!

CHARLES DICKENS – GREAT EXPECTATIONS

after reading this book i think dickens would benifit from very low expectations. and by that i mean a lot of people will be returning this book and giving bad reviews. all the classics always in my opinion, are very bad – ONE STAR!

Booker Prize-winner A S BYATT – POSSESSION: A ROMANCE

Frankly, I would rather read the terms of my home and auto insurance policies than read this book. – ONE STAR!

CHARLOTTE BRONTE – JANE EYRE

I enjoy classic Victorian era romance , and this by far is the worst book I have ever read. – ONE STAR!

J D SALINGER – THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

It’s not that it was above my head, it was just plain old poorly written in my humble opinion. The grammar was beyond horrible. I think my 10 year old son could’ve done a better job. – ONE STAR!

JOHN STEINBECK – THE GRAPES OF WRATH

I should have known that a book you can buy togehter with Cliff’s Notes is going to be boring. I read “East of Eden” and thought it was great. I was hopeful that “Grapes of Wrath” would be just as good. No luck. It’s dull as heck. – ONE STAR!

EMILY BRONTE – WUTHERING HEIGHTS

The book is filled with nasty, disgusting, wicked, cruel people. Every single person, and yes, ESPECIALLY NELLY, hateful, jealous, manipulative, lying, conniving, nasty Nelly, every single one of them are foul. – ONE STAR!

DANIEL DEFOE – MOLL FLANDERS

I had to read this for a book club, and a fifth of the way into it, I began to wish I were blind, so I wouldn’t have to continue. – ONE STAR!

F SCOTT FITZGERALD – THE GREAT GATSBY

If I wanted to read about lame, rich, full of themself people going to parties, I’d pick up People magazine. – ONE STAR!

ERNEST HEMINGWAY – THE SUN ALSO RISES

If you liked Sienfeld but thought it was to funny, this book is for you. A book about nothing, that takes 200 plus pages to get there. – ONE STAR!

Amazon Guest Blogs

I’ve been invited to contribute to the Amazon.com blog on a weekly basis for the next three weeks. I’ll be talking about writing and the mysterious events it often conjures, plus background on Age of Misrule.

You can find the first one here: The Invisible Hand of the Gods of Writing

And the second one here: Mysterious Britain.

The third: Real-World Roots of Fantasy.

Thanks to Jeff Vandermeer for the invite.