Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Lit And The Law Of The Jungle

Lots have been said about the review system on Amazon. It's not perfect, and next to no monitoring means all sorts of interesting input- (OMGZ, EA Poe's "The Raven" repurposed into a review of Tuscan Whole Milk!

But takedowns of products, driven by outrage or money, happen just as often. Maybe more often. More odious is the hiring of faceless online mercenaries in the effort. The bile in your veins must be really thick for you to do that.

As a reviewer, I have a personal beef with those who use feedback platforms in such a manner. Flooding a product's feedback section with lazy, lying, ill-informed 'reviews' - without even a look at the actual product - is destructive, unproductive and grossly unjust.

On top of it all, they're unconvincing and, in a way, taints what honest reviewers are doing.

I got a copy of the book to see if it was that bad. The one-star 'reviews' of it? All bull.

It is not an awful book, though I wouldn't call it great.

It is not a "far-left ultra-liberal" socialist manifesto. (What.)

It does not disrespect the Boston bombing victims. (What the heck?)

I've proofed even more error-ridden stuff.

The neurosurgeon in the book should sue for libel.

And would anyone with half a brain know if he was insulted?

And isn't it odd that some of the Amazon 'reviewers' five-starred almost the same things?

Only one error stood out after a casual pass: a name in a story appears to have two spellings. Several pieces feel rushed, written for its own sake with no apparent denouement. And several stories need better paragraphing - except maybe one.

I'm not defending the book or the publishers as much as I'm venting my spleen against the practice. I have made my feelings known about Amazon's feedback/review 'system', as well as 'reviewers' who think the number of posts on Tripadvisor, etc translate into power and authority. Unregulated feedback/review platforms are like mosquito-breeding swamps that need to be drained.

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