Friday 30 March 2012

Baaaad ass reviews of baaaad ass books

I like to collect bad reviews of my books. If there is some valid criticism, that can be constructive - but more often they are just a bit of misguiding ranting. There's one I have a soft spot for, from the head of the Einstein archive in Jerusalem, slating my (trade, popular) biography/anthology of Einstein for not being an academic book and being just the type of book they try to keep out of print.

But this new one has just taken over as my favourite. It's from the Barnes and Noble website. I found it while looking for an image of the book's cover without that irritating 'Look inside' arrow that Amazon plasters over the top right-hand corner, making the image useless for all other purposes.

This review is by a nutty American who has clearly not understood the book, which is about how some (other) nutty Americans claim to have been abducted by aliens. The book does not suggest they actually HAVE been abducted by aliens:

The WORST childrens Book EVER! Offensive!

In [Stroppy Author's] book Alien Abduction, she presents FICTION as FACT to young readers. It speaks of what aliens physically "do" to you when "You are abducted." It incites fear and trepidation in the fragile minds of children. Also, it depicts a BLASPHEMOUS painting of the Baptism of Christ by Aert de Gelder, in which she then suggests aliens are connected to Christ.One quick look at the authors' website and you will know exactly the type of values, and her MISSION to "educate" children.

Parents BEWARE! Do your homework on what books are in your child's school and home libraries.
I'm inclined to send SadApostrophe round to teach this person a lesson. I would point out, though, that 'one quick look' at my website will show I never claim to have a 'MISSION' and I don't use the word 'educate' once. Of course - because I'm too busy inciting fear and trepidation in fragile young minds. 
If I had a mission it would be to free children from the shackles of the National Curriculum, literacy hour and fundamentalist religious views of all varieties, and to corrupt their young minds by exposing them to the wonders of the real world, and to the vast expanse of possibilities available to them. 
That BLASPHEMOUS painting is just down the road from here, in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Perhaps it has corrupted me.
This book is one of a series of three that did not go down well with mid-Americans. Another in the series, on zombies, was one of the 19 books banned in 2010. I wrote about the banned books list for New Humanist, so the banning got me extra money. 
Don't they realise how this kind of fuss just promotes the book?   
(BTW don't buy the book unless you are a reluctant reader. It only has about 300 words, so you will feel it's not good value for money. I don't want to disappoint my lovely blog followers. Of course if you are a reluctant reader, or know one, and feel like a bit of fear, trepidation and corruption...)


  1. Oh dear - don't know whether to laugh or cry over people like that!

  2. Brilliant stuff, well worthy of a Stroppy Author! My own favourite bad review was the one I had from a Telegraph reviewer - about Troll Blood - which began, "I don't like Viking books so I didn't bother to finish this" and ended by suggesting I might extend the trilogy by titles such as 'Trolls in Garden Centre' and 'Trolls in the Cutlery Drawer'. Sadly I've lost the full text. If all reviewing was as easy as that, we'd all be doing it.

  3. I'd buy Trolls in the Garden Centre! Actually, my garden centre is full of trolls... Short grumpy old people who ram their troll[ey]s into you.

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  5. Haha :) Wow, that is indeed a gem :) I think I'll go buy a copy of your book for my seven year old sister now.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  6. Thank you, Sarah, and I hope she enjoys it. After all, if you are going to be abducted by aliens, you might as well know what to expect...