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Klausner Backlash?

Thanks to a commenter in our own Klausner Post, I have learned that there is a bit of a backlash ensuing for Amazon’s #1 reviewer. And the backlash might be having an impact:

So, what has happened since this little investigation was launched? Well, as of this moment, the prolific Harriet Klausner, has written only 2 reviews in the last 5 days. To put that number in perspective; Harriet has posted as many as 40 book reviews in one day in recent weeks. 2 reviews in 5 days is a significant reduction. Is this merely a coincidence? Hard to tell.

The scrutiny has caused people to look at other top reviewers:

John “Gunny” Matlock has admitted that his reviews were actually being produced by a consortium of 27 reviewers and he claims to be resigning as an Amazon reviewer. Grady Harp has suddenly started getting fewer votes of approval for his reviews.

Hmmmm…the plot thickens…

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

13 Comments on Klausner Backlash?

  1. The biggest problem is that all of the reviews are *positive*.

    (This isn’t the first Harriet debate, certainly; I remember going around and around the matter on the AbsoluteWrite forums a couple of times too; and I was enormously entertained by SFSignal’s last discussion on her.)

    I mean, she likes EVERYTHING. Everything! I buy books by authors I love, and I still don’t love them all. I’m one of the Editor dudes for BBT Magazine and I know after half an hour on any given day spent in the slush pile, I practically loathe short stories (and that’s my favorite medium.) Now imagine reading books every second of every day. Urk.

    The only bit I do wonder about is whether or not she’s sponsored. It seems incongruous with in general.

  2. There is definitely some dispensation between Amazon and Klausner — her reviews are always posted on the day of the books release. Sure, she gets advance review copies, but my experience (yes, I’ve written a few Amazon reviews in the P.B. (pre-blog) past) is that the time between review submittal and posting is random, whenever some Amazon lackey gets around to it. And yet Harriet’s reviews are always posted on the day of the book’s release. Hmmm….

    But don’t get me started…

  3. There really just one way to straighten them all out! Boycott Amazon! Or, boycott Amazon books! Or, boycott all books that Klausner gave a positive review on Amazon!

  4. I am highly encouraged that an actual journalist has decided to begin digging into the situation with Amazon’s top reviewers. Maybe, just maybe, this person with the Dayton Daily News will show the journalists at TIME magazine and the Wall Street Journal how it should be done.

  5. Look Pe-tah! There’s a special Dateline Gatilsday exposing the fraud that’s Harriet Klausner!

  6. Interesting…and quite sad in a very pathetic way.

  7. That’s an awesome list. I love the “review your dreams” bit. And the “read during sex.” Can you imagine the reviews from these?

    (Review during dreams) but then, Gandalf confronted the Balrog in a scene teh writer did greatly & the Balrog said “Hey, Steve, you forgot your pants again! LOOK AT STEVE’S SPIDER-MAN UNDERROOS!” which showed how evil the balrog was.

    (review after sex): I only made it to sentence eight, and then we were done. But it was really, really good!

  8. I happened to be looking at Tim Lebbon’s ‘Dawn’ on Amazon, which I just finished this morning, and the only review was Klausner. In the Klausner review and the the embedded Publishers Weekly review, they both use the phrase ‘city of Kang Kang’. The only problem is that in the novel, Kang Kang is not a city, but a mountain range. From that I would posit that this person is just regurgitating other published reviews without reading the source material. Other things don’t read true like calling the previous book ‘a coming of age tale’.

  9. Great data point, Josh. Here’s another:

    Harriet Klausner was a character mentioned in Designated Targets by John Birmingham, yet her “review” never mentioned it. It was a test to see if she actually read the books.

  10. I didn’t realize there was a near 3 1/2 year + history of this topic on this blog. Egg meet face. I was under the cheerfully naive assumption that this was a new phenomenon. I’ve always taken Amazon reviews with a grain of salt, but the fact that this has been going on so long is somewhat disturbing. Hopefully my post shed some light on how ‘she’ creates ‘her’ reviews, though.

  11. I don’t mean to sound snarky, because to be reviewed at all, by anyone, is an honor any writer breaking into the field should envy but …

    “Their forms were changed into earth children and they never knew their heritage nor did they know about their considerable powers. Instead they were raised in an orphanage surrounded by walls with no one allowed to enter or leave this realm. They cling to one another and learn to work together in exchange for a shaky peace with Chaos. The children grew up and yearned to learn who they are so they fought for freedom. — The first thing they did was book a cruise, but the Olympians and their allies blockade the ship. This forces Vanity, a prisoner of the Olympian conquered immortal Phoenicians, to summon the Silvery Ship, which answers to her commands. The vessel takes her and her compatriots to a deserted island where they learn to control and find the limits of their power. They must protect one another because if even one dies, the war between the Olympians and Chaos will resume with one outcome, the end of the world they call home. — The exhilarating story that began with the ORPHANS OF CHAOS, continued with the FUGITIVES OF CHAOS and now finishes with the TITANS OF CHAOS as the five children of Chaos are more mature with a cause as they were raised as earth children. Thus their loyalty is not to their lineage, but to their adopted home with nurturing superseding naturing. As a unit with a one for all and all for one mentality these Chaos offspring are willing to fight both sides in order to keep their “adopted” world safe. John C. Wright proves he has the right stuff as he provides a fabulous finale to a great trilogy that the Potter crowd will relish. — Harriet Klausner”

    And she gives it five stars!

    If anyone on this blog read my book, you might detect that Ms. Klausner either did not read it, or did not pay close attention to who was on which side.

    No matter. She got the basic facts from the dust jacket straight, and she gave it a positive review, and she added the obligatory mention of Harry Potter, who has nothing whatsoever to do with my book, but which might trick the unwary reader into buying it anyway.

    In fact, what a good idea! Let me look up the most best selling books of all time and just tell people TITANS OF CHAOS is /just/ like that!!

    “John C. Wright’s latest book TITANS OF CHAOS, is actually the last book in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the finale of George RR Martin’s GAME OF THRONES and the end of Robert Jordan’s WHEEL OF TIME, in addition to be the clerically-accepted official sequel to the Bible and Holy Koran, the SEARS AND ROEBUCKS catalog, the Phone Book, and PILGRIM’S PROGRESS all rolled into one!! Thrill with wonder as Harry, with his friends Moses, St. Peter, Jibril and Rand-al-Thor struggle through the Slough of Despond to defeat the villainous Lannister family! Watch in horror as Dumbledore is slain by Mr. Worldly Wiseman on the bridge of Khazad Dum! Recoil in shock as Sansa Stark falls for Joffrey of Slytherin House! Includes both white and yellow pages for the Greater Tricounty Area! Also, electric cream separators on sale this month!”

    That’ll get ’em to read it.

  12. Holy crap JCW – warn people before you write something so funny I burst out laughing at work and prompt everybody to ask me ‘what’s so funny’ when I know I have absolutely no chance at describing what it is that has tickled me to tears.

    I read that review ages ago and I remember thinking, “Did JCW pay her to write that throw-away Potter reference?” 😉

    Of course, now I’m stuck to wonder what the clerically-accepted sequel to the SEARS AND ROEBUCKS catalog actually is. Curse you JCW!

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