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Amazon Rant: Or, Own Up To Your Opinions
By Scott Nicholson

Okay, I don’t like to rant. I am a believer in meditation because it reduces anger and promotes positive vibes, blood pressure, understanding, etc. But once in a while my blood wants to boil over. Like when idiotic “reviewers” who have an Amazon account and about enough brains to fill a coke spoon are given equal footing in the world's largest bookstore with people who actually read books.

I’m of the general opinion that being reviewed anywhere is better than being ignored. I’ve taken my share of hits, including one from a Yankee who accused me of setting the record for Southern clichés. But give an idiot a microphone and all you get is a louder idiot. Here’s what one anonymous reviewer at Amazon.com had to say about my friend Dale Bailey’s “House of Bones”:

“A book with and smooth beganning but lack any real substance. It takes for every to get the book going and when it does you push yourself to end. There is no real thrill or chills just emptyness. I left wanting more...”

Does this illiterate sack of sackworms even deserve a platform? Can anyone who’s ever taken Freshman Lit in high school believe this person actually plowed through any modern novel, much less one as sophisticated as Bailey’s? Anybody with this level of grammatical ability would have flunked out of Miss McAllister’s third-grade class, yet here “A reader” is given just as much weight as deserving readers who actually bother to make a critical comparison with other works in the field.

Here is what one genius had to say about Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House,” widely considered the greatest haunted house story, if not the greatest horror novel, ever penned:

“One of the few case's when the book is a great deal worse than the movie It lacks action and genuine scare tactics, and isn't worth the time it takes to read it”

Hey, stupid. Learn to use an apostrophe and periods, and quit comparing classic novels to Hollywood remakes. Then we can talk.

No, I’m not seeking revenge on those reviewers who have slammed my own books. Some of them have taken great pains to point out my flaws, citing specifics that prove they actually read my work and thus earned the right to drag my sorry rump through the literary sewers. I respect those people. They make me aim higher. But the twit who compared reading my work to driving bamboo slivers under his fingernails, only to say he finished the book just to find out how bad it could get, revealed himself to be seven kinds of a stupid jackass. Because only a fool wastes time reading a bad book. Here’s what one of the greatest minds of our generation had to say about my novel, The Harvest:

”This book was incredibly boring. And repetitive. And boring. And repetitive. The only reason I finished it is because I always make myself finish books that I start, no matter how bad they are.”

I could make a compelling case why this "review" says absolutely nothing of value to anyone. But that would be way over this person's rocklike head, so I'll take it down to this guy's level: Yo, dishwater drinker. Make yourself finish sucky books, because you’re such a genius you read sucky books like mine. Eat your own underwear and make sure you don't miss a single thread, because you want to make sure every square centimeter is rank. You suck, dumbhole. Half a star for your sorry ass.

After my first book, I pretty much quit reading those Amazon reviews and I hope people don't make purchasing decisions based on them. Thank goodness, Amazon responded to author and publisher complaints and has recently initiated a practice that now requires reviewers to post their true names, or at least have credit card information and an email address to back up their false identities.

My pet theory is that it’s mostly frustrated and pathetic writers who post the negative reviews. The practice seems to have slowed since Amazon began linking people's real names with the information stored in the company's mighty computers.I just hope, if there is a Judgment Day, all those anonymous reviews by people who haven't read the book have to eat every single word they ever said, spiced with brimstone and scorched garlic, and maybe the dankest part of their own undergarments.

If you want to have an opinion, earn it. Earn it. That’s all anybody asks.

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