February 13, 2004

Was this review helpful to you?

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at February 13, 2004 11:13 PM

I'm in lab on a Friday night. I'm incredibly bored waiting on a calibration. So, I come across an article in tomorrow's Times: Amazon Glitch Unmasks War of Reviewers
Basically, a glitch on Amazon Canada revealed the names of people who posted anonymous reviews, and we were all shocked, shocked to learn that authors review their own books and get their friends and family to boost their ratings. This prompted me to go look at the Amazon page for The Night of the Dance, you know, just to see if any new reviews had been posted recently.

They had. This one was interesting:

[5 stars] Nominated for an Edgar!, February 9, 2004
Reviewer: A reader from Houston, TX
This fantastic book has recently been nominated for a Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award in the category of Best First Novel by an American Author...an enormous honor, and one that is well deserved!

Hime's second book in the Jeremiah Spur series is expected this fall, so don't delay, read The Night of the Dance as soon as you can! You will NOT regret it.

[Emphasis mine.] Consider, by comparison, the following excerpt from an entry on this site, on February 1, 2004:
Today is also my father's birthday--I won't say how old he is, but it's a big, round number--and you can celebrate by buying a copy of The Night of the Dance, which has been nominated for a Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award in the category of Best First Novel by an American Author.

[Emphasis, well, mine, but added for the current entry] All this is to say that despite the astonishing similarity and insider knowledge of future publication dates displayed by the reviewer, I am not reviewing my father's book on Amazon. I think I plug it enough on this site, despite the fact that it has slightly fewer readers.

On to the next review:

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Really good debut novel...., January 28, 2004
[5 stars] Reviewer: A reader from San Diego, CA
Since I have little time to read popular fiction, I concentrate on debut novels...sort of a hobby. The cover caught my eye as I have a great love for the old (and new) West. What distracted me throughout this book was the use of "of" instead of "have," as in "could of," "should of," etc. At first, I thought it was just how these people talked...but, after ruminating on this problem, why not "should've" and "could've"? When the veterinarian 'talked' that way too, I was stumped. Here is an educated man who certainly would not WRITE 'could of' in a million years. Five stars for keeping my interest throughout.

Are you, sir, by any chance a middle school English teacher? I would suggest that this educated man seek a hobby, but as he claims this is his hobby, well, I'm stumped.


For the record I have not reviewed my own book on amazon.com although I could of if I wanted to. I appreciate it when friends and family weigh in as long as it's five stars.

Posted by: Dad | February 15, 2004 4:39 PM

Yeah, Travis, I wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, here...

I was one of the first reviews, and I meant every word! I wouldn't have put anything on there if I hadn't liked the book, I'm not a liar...I thought it deserved a good review, so I gave it one, friend or no friend :)

Posted by: Tracy | February 16, 2004 8:57 AM
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