A damn fine book

Way back in 2014, Duke, Aaron, and I were told by our publisher that if we didn’t scrounge up at least 35 five star reviews by our book release date we might as well just give up, go home and drown our sorrows in bourbon. I’m sure that’s good sound advice but it did lead to a lot of pressure to be a good team player by helping other writers achieve that 35 five star goal. I don’t know how many reviews I wrote, to be honest, however I did actually read most of the books. The ones I didn’t enjoy as much (primarily because of genre) I tried to find something nice to say that would give potential buyers a clue:

"In Gwendolyn's Gulag, two star-crossed lovers meet in Siberia but they have to travel back in time to prevent the world from becoming a Gulagistan full of fire-breathing Yeti monsters from hell.  Will they recognize each other in different bodies in time to save the world?" 

If it happened at Booktrope, then it happened at other publishing houses which means book reviews on Amazon should be assessed on quality and not quantity. That’s what Amazon says they are attempting to do with their “review of reviews” process but I think it’s a pile of shit and I don’t believe them at all. I believe they’re actually checking to see if you are a consistent reviewer of other products or if you just pop in to review books. In order to test my theory I’ve begun leaving reviews for products using my husband’s account (he buys more shit than I do).

Hanes' double-ball high rise bikini briefs are the cat's meow.  No more peek-a-boos of the old dinger-donger for me. All my junk stays right where God intended it to be. 

Anyway Duke and I have been attempting to leave a review for Aaron’s new book on Amazon and having difficulty which is a shame because it’s a damn fine book. Aaron has always had a gift for memorable (often shocking) scenes and bizarre plot twists. However over the years he’s also developed a distinct voice and this new book has that “finally arrived” feeling. Here’s my review:

This is the story of a man who lives in an abandoned house with the ghosts of a murdered family.  His friends include his bicycle, his google assistant, and a coyote named Joni.  In many ways it’s an allegory for the times we live in. As the story proceeds we find out that at one time he had a successful business and then he lost his main man. The main man represents his link to the lifestyle that is supposed to make us all happy. There are a lot of layered meanings in the book and I kept thinking of Journey by Moonlight and Ulysses (by Joyce) as I read. The author sent me a copy for an honest review and I can honestly say it was a book I couldn’t put down..

Aaron’s just released the Ebook version so if you’re Kindle enabled, check it out.

11 thoughts on “A damn fine book

    1. Hi A. Mole,

      The problem with being a good “team player” was the pressure one felt to give a great review to the occasional book (too often) that was really pretty lousy. I ended up getting 37 reviews I think. It didn’t make my book a best seller, but it probably did irritated people who didn’t like to read sad shit and leave a glowing review. The new “community standards” for Amazon Books involve spending money on Amazon which will allow one to leave a book review. Just buying the book is not enough, you need to spend at least $50 at some point. They call it “customer loyalty” and it is the new standard for a lot of corporations. It is particularly true for airlines. Just read an article about a guy who scammed the airlines until they caught on and went from “miles” to “loyalty” in handing out free flights. Loyalty is measured by how much money a person spends. I think you are right, we are in the final turn of the screw. Nothing is going to end up well. It is just a question of timing. Ironic that both good jokes and the end of the world depend upon timing. Maybe everything depends upon timing. Maybe god is time. That is very likely. Duke

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Amazon will only highlight new releases that have at least 35 reviews … it was their plan to make up for low publishing costs. Unfortunately it’s backfired. Now it’s hard to tell which reviews are genuine. They say they’re reviewing all reviews for “quality” which is simply ludicrous, There are thousands of new releases every day. So some IT guy who’s never voluntarily read a book is going to judge reviews? Right. Color me cynical!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, I’m one of those IT guys… And I wrote one hell of a AI bot that analyzes novel text for 10+ letter words, the more the higher the star count. (Kidding, but not really.)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I was in IT too. My point is that Amazon wants you to believe they’ve got intelligent beings analyzing reviews but there’s no way that’s happening. Sorry … not meaning to offend. I know PhDs who refuse to read fiction or poetry so it’s not a matter of ability, just taste.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Hi Jan,

    We are good examples of writers who don’t advertise. We are like specimens in glass jars sitting on the dusty shelf of some lonely little desert museum along an unused highway. Lost people occasionally stop for gas and wander inside to see some deformed slab of flesh with one eye and a gnarled hand and think what the fuck is that? They move on quickly. Someday we will all be dead, but I promise you and Aaron that when I die, I’ll think about you for a minute or two. That’s the best I can do. Thanks. Duke

    Liked by 1 person

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