1.10.2007

I used to like Sweden

well, this explains some of those less than stellar reviews for MY clients.

I laugh, but man oh man.
It's bad enough we have suck up bad reviews as part of the biz, but this really just sux.


(thanks to Sten for the linkage)

21 comments:

Lorra said...

It's always good to start the day with a nice smackdown!

What a jerk!

Tattieheid said...

If my memory is correct this is not the only example of fraudulent reviews in recent times. He does seem to be an unrepentant little s**t though. It does make you wonder if he ever read any of the books he reviewed. His employer should be seeking their money back.

I never buy books based on reviews, they generally don't correlate to my tastes and I sometimes wonder if we have been reading the same book. This may explain that.

This just emphasises that writing for publication is a tough business. I hope somebody sues the b*****d. Life is tough enough!

Word Doctor said...

MS, how much of that do you see going on here (the states)? I knew there was a little, but is it a major deal?

Anonymous said...

If I could get away with that in my job I could cut back to 8 hour work days. -JTC

Ryan Field said...

Simply more proof of what I've always suspected: most people (me included) are full of shit.

Anonymous said...

Though I do buy and read Romantic Times Book Review magazine every month, I do not always make my buying list by the amount of stars the reviewers award. I read the blurb and decide for myself. Newspaper book reviewers? Nope. I never like what they like. Oprah? Good grief no. Her choices are so damned depressing. One person my like Maggie Shayne while the next won't. I happen to love her books. Mary Higgins Clark is always on the Top Ten list. I don't like her voice. The point is, no one can tell you what to read.

Not everyone likes broccoli but they sure sell a lot of that stuff.

Sten Düring said...

Considering it made the headlines here in Sweden you may assume people don't often get caught in the act ;)

Our population is smaller than New York. Maybe it's easier to 'hide' in the US. I don't know.

Brady Westwater said...

Ah, the Mike Davis of book reviewers!

Anonymous said...

They used to like us, too, before James Frey.

Just Me said...

Oddly comforting, though: Next time you get a bad review you can tell yourself "The SOB never even read it anyway..."

Anonymous said...

If you think you don't like Sweden, look at this. Whoever did this web site is convinced God does not like them either:

http://www.godhatessweden.com/html/royalfamily.html

The story of the unwritten-book review reminds me of the following quote from Albert Schweitzer:

"The ideal life of Jesus ... is the Life which Heinrich Julius Hotzmann did not write. ... It is ideal, for one thing, because it is unwritten."

Ouch.

Conduit said...

This reminds me of an interview I once read with, I think, Peter Frampton - if it wasn't Frampton, it was someone else from the mid to late 70's. Anyway, he was on tour and reading an early edition of a newspaper while flying between concerts, and there was a review of his show which basically said it sucked. Only problem was, the review was of the concert he was about to play THAT NIGHT!

This happens a lot in the music business and it wouldn't surprise me at all if it happened in publishing, too.

jamiehall said...

This is really unprofessional. Don't journalists get fired for making up news stories? Then why should a book reviewer be any different?

The sad thing is, most of the time it would be impossible to prove whether the reviewer had read the book or not. The few times it can be proved, the culprit ought to be punished severely as an example to the rest of the dishonest reviewers.

canwag said...

Although it seems that too many frivolous lawsuits are being filed in recent times, I think the author of this as-yet-unwritten book has a fairly good case for libel. It's nice to know that if I ever do get published, I may take at least some of the bad reviews with a grain of salt. (Of course, just becoming a published author would be praiseworthy enough.)

Anonymous said...

So, book reviewers are real-life trolls?

Sundae Best said...

"If you think you don't like Sweden, look at this..."

{scrubbing my eyeballs with pumice}

Yeesh. Chilling isn't even the word.

What could make anyone so putridly hateful in only one short lifetime?

Twill said...

The thing that struck me about the article is that it sounds like the guy still has a job. That's a pretty sorry organization he works for. In my line of work, if you commit fraud, your job ends. That even sometimes happens at the NYT.

Anonymous said...

Well at least with sites like amazon his job is becoming obsolete.

Fuchsia Groan said...

We're not all like this, I swear! I've finished every book I ever reviewed, including some I really disliked. And when I do really dislike something for what feel to me like personal reasons, I try to include enough neutral information about the book so that people can judge for themselves whether it's for them. Some would say this leads to marshmallow-y reviews, but believe me... if there's a hint of negativity anywhere, authors will find and fixate on it. You don't have to be Dale Peck to get a point across.

A good reviewer will give you a sense of the book's plot (without spoiling too much) and style/flavor. Can't do this without reading the damn thing.

Anonymous said...

I was in a show once that got a pretty good review from one particular reviewer. We were pleased but a little confused...because he had fallen asleep five minutes in. We knew this for a fact, since he sat in the front row and snored loudly through the entire show.

At least he was nice about it.

A. J. Luxton said...

I think if you fall asleep during something your boss is paying you to review, giving it a thumbs up is the only graceful way to navigate the situation.

Sleep isn't always the result of boring. Often, it's the result of insomnia and early wake times.