Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Book Reviews

Harriet Klausner
   Because I was reading so much in October, I didn't get any time for blogging.  Some people can do both.  My friend Terri, gave me an article about Harriet Klausner.  Actually it was Harriet's death notice.  She had been a self-appointed star Amazon critic who wrote 31,014 reviews.
                 31,014 reviews!!!
   I became interested in learning more about Harriet and found lots of interesting articles. 
   Harriet was born in the Bronx, but lived in Atlanta.  She had a degree in library science and had been a librarian. According to Wikipedia, "ailments kept her home and insomnia kept her up". 
  Harriet claimed to have read 2 or 3 books a day- but her profile in Time magazine reported that she read 4 to 6 books a day.  She gave every book a rating of 4 or 5.

  She was the #1 ranked reviewer on Amazon.com until 2008, when they began a new ranking system, based on feedback from the readers, rather than how prolific the reviewer was.

   BUT, there are interesting thoughts on whether Harriet actually read the books or not, since she wrote so many reviews.  One person called her a 'shill'.  Interesting word. 

  Author John Birmingham wrote a book called "Designated Targets", and deliberately included a character named Harriet Klausner.  She made no mention of this in her review.  Bingo!
  However, her fame brought her boxes of advanced readers copies from editors and publishing houses.  She became part of a move from professional reviews to amateur online reviewing.  There were people who would be thinking, "I wonder what Harriet would think of this book".
  But sometimes she wrote 10 - 20 reviews in one day and a backlash began.  It was called the Harriet Klausner Appreciation Society but it really was mocking her.  People were complaining about being misled by her positive reviews.  They no longer believed that she read the books that she wrote about.
   Perhaps she was a shill.  Hmmm

No comments:

Post a Comment