Friday, October 24, 2014

Five ways authors reacted very badly to reviews

1. Spat on a reviewer

After nursing a grudge for two years, author Richard Ford approached a reviewer at a party.

…at a March 2 party in New York for Poets & Writers magazine, Whitehead says, Ford approached him and said, “I’ve waited two years for this! You spat on my book.” “Then he spat on me,” says Whitehead.

2. Sent a book and bullets to the reviewer

Richard Ford, again. I must make sure I never read anything of his, because he seems frighteningly unbalanced. Apparently Alice Hoffman, she of Twittergate fame, gave him a poor review. So both he and his wife fired a gun into one of Hoffman’s books and then sent that to her.

His comment on the general reaction?

“But people make such a big deal out of it - shooting a book - it's not like I shot her."

3. Took legal action—against everyone

He claims Mr Jones wrote damning reviews of his book on Amazon September and October 2010, which he had published under the pseudonym "Scrooby." Mr Jones also revealed his true identity.

The Richard Dawkins Foundation published an article by the reviewer, so the author sued the reviewer, Dawkins, the foundation and Amazon. Lawsuits for everyone!

4. Mailed dog shit to the reviewer

This fecal matter had been wrapped in a piece of paper on which had been printed out language comparing me to the infamous Nurse Ratched of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I recognized the comparison. It had appeared on an author’s blog accompanied by my full name, an entertaining little video snippet from the film, a considerable amount of rather hostile language and a threat to name the villain in her next novel after me.

This was all because I had read the author’s debut novel and disliked it intensely.

5. Offered a bounty on the reviewer

Last week, Jaime Clark, a first-time novelist who was reviewed negatively in P.W., decided to take matters into his own hands: In an e-mail sent to a list of literary editors, Clark offered to pay $1,000 to anyone who would tell him the name of the reviewer. “You need not reveal your identity to collect this bounty,” he assured his potential Judas, “but you must be able to substantiate your information.”

This made me want to pull a Quint. “Ten thousand, for me, by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.”


DRC said...

Wow! I'm never leaving another review again...just in case :)

@lafarka said...

These "writers" should learn how to be human first and then try to write. I am willing to bet that the product of such people is without merit except in their own eyes. I wonder what they do if you disagree with a tweet.

Marian Perera said...

DRC - It does make you stop and wonder about how much information about yourself can be ferreted out. I know I never thought twice about giving out my mailing (and home) address when I won something online.

@lafarks - I've seen one or two bitter Twitter clashes when such authors get feedback they don't like, so I wouldn't waste time disagreeing with them there either!