2 September 2011 2 Comments

Corrupt online reviews

Eleanor Roosevelt said that no one can make you feel bad, except yourself. I live by that rule. Particularly when it comes to reviews. And double-particularly when it comes to online reviews. A recent Cornell University study found that 85 percent of amazon.com’s “top reviewers” had received free gifts from vendors. And 78 percent had […]

20 May 2010 0 Comments

Jimmy Carter, apartheid, hemorrhoids and Matt Beynon Rees

I often receive emails from book stores, amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and online literary sites telling me how much I’d like the novels of Matt Beynon Rees. I’m delighted to see these emails, which are based on my other purchases and interests, as only I can truly know just how much the novels of Matt […]

7 March 2010 0 Comments

Literary reviews: If you can’t say something nice…

Kingsley Amis said that “a bad review may spoil your breakfast, but you shouldn’t allow it to spoil your lunch.” That’s because Kingsley, bless his vindictive old heart, was probably too busy spoiling someone else’s. Believe me, a bad review leaves a bad taste all day long. That’s not because of any insecurity about my […]