Monday, March 02, 2015

Reviewing the Reviewers, Part 2: "Like A Bitter Shot of Poison to the Heart!"


I forgot to mention that my first memoir, TO TRAVEL HOPELESSLY, is available for FREE now.


Writing about your own life makes reading your reviews a rather tricky business; people are in many cases reviewing your life as much as they are your works. 

For the most part, the books have been well-received and well-considered by most of the people who have bothered to leave a review on Amazon. The reviews on Amazon UK are much more savage than the ones on Amazon US, though -- there are like three different people who say my books are "the worst book I've ever read!" (What a statistical anomaly!)

Recently a real confusingly WTF review got posted:  


So yeah, let me go ahead and just reveal my true identity. My real name is James Frey

(To the best of my knowledge, I don't know anybody who lives in Denmark, where that reviewer supposedly lives, nor can I think of anybody who might have written that.)

So just let me make a polite request: if you have read and liked my books, take a few minutes to leave a review on Amazon. 

If you DIDN'T like my books, then at least get your fucking facts straight before you review it. Don't complain that there's bad language, because I say that in the product description. The books may have some typos, but they ARE NOT full of grammatical errors.  If you say that I present a one-dimensional portrait of TEFL, please elaborate on where you are getting your information from. If you claim that you are a teacher and never had experiences like this, or met people like this, please tell me where you worked so I can apply there.

In fact, if you never met crazy people while teaching TEFL, odds are that YOU were the crazy one ...

(There was a review of my GUIDE TO TEACHING ENGLISH ABROAD that said it was "like a bitter shot of poison to the heart!"and if we look at all the other books this reviewer reviews, we see a lot of books about living with bipolar disorder.)



10 comments:

Ken said...

The thing is this happens to everybody. I've published about 7 books myself. One of which sold 0 copies print of demand means I don't really lose anything. I've had no royalties and 0 sales from the last book yet I have 2 negative one star reviews. Which as you may imagine is rather strange.

englishteacherx said...

You must have a really offensive title or cover then!

Anonymous said...

Dude - I tried to post the following review THREE FRIGGIN' TIMES on Amazon, but kept getting the following message: "Thanks for submitting a customer review on Amazon. Your review could not be posted to the website in its current form. While we appreciate your time and comments, reviews must adhere to the following guidelines". I have 100+ published reviews on Amazon, there is nothing objectionable in my review, and I am a verified purchaser - WTF? I think your book must be flagged or something for special attention. Anyway - I tried. Please reward us (loyal readers) with more non-Enema Porn based posts. :)

Title: Highly recommended for 2 types of readers

********

Presented below is a 3-dimensional review of Requiem for a Vagabond. Analyzed dimensions are (1) good, (2) bad, and (3) ugly. Together these three constructs comprise a travel tale highly recommended for two types of readers.

The Good:
1. The presented observational theory of ESL teaching is firmly grounded in experience. While past qualitative works from this author arguably lack internal validity due to alcohol, drug, and alloerotic instrumentation bias, this work is based on sober observations of the field from the perspective of a middle aged DELTA certified teacher who has taught in Saudia Arabia, Thailand, Korea, Russia, and New York.

(see next post - now BLOGGER.com is against me too)

Anonymous said...


The Bad:
1. The "bad" is not a reference to quality; rather, it references the bad behavior chronicled in this study. Contrasted again with prior research, this study presents "bad" male and female behavior from primarily external versus internal sources. The characters "Crazy Bob" and "Goose" are the primary phenomena from which observations on male and female relational dysfunction caused and/or ameliorated by overseas travel are observed. Perhaps as a result of the control element introduced by stable accountant "Girlfriend", ETX is purported to engage in significantly fewer acts of drunkenness and lechery in this series of longitudinal observations. Whether this is the result of maturity, artistic effect, family health issues, "Girlfriend" effect, or reduced striatum brain tissue due to extraordinarily high exposures to p@rnography is unknown.

The Ugly:
How does the author deal with age-induced physical deterioration in self and observed female others? Experiments are conducted to control this effect via exercise, alcohol abstention, and maintenance of "Girlfriend" (who may or may not technically fit this description according to other researcher(s) and forum(s)). On the cognitive level, this study provides support to the theory that men reach a mental peak at middle age (inferring a geriatric emotional peak). Evidence for the foregoing is derived from ETX's demonstrated teaching standards, student impact, and ability to withstand high levels of external job stress brought on by W@hhabism, clinically insane colleagues, and neurotic former hookups.

Conclusion: ETX is a middle-aged dude who obviously put a lot of effort into writing this book. He's done a lot of teaching abroad (and broads in general). If you are interested in either (a)broad shenanigans, you should read this book. The reviewer therefore highly recommends this work for two types of readers:

1. 16-29 year old men and women interested in teaching abroad as an adventure, paycheck, or both.
2. Current or retired ESL teachers (for purposes of disclosure, the reviewer is one of the former).
(3. Secret bonus recommendation: anyone who actually reads this entire review - if you can get through this nonsense, you will certainly enjoy R4aV.)

This book is NOT recommended for the following reader types:

1. Those who have never traveled abroad or dreamed of traveling abroad. You will never understand. Congratulate your DNA for evolving you into a functional member of society. Swallow that blue pill each morning with a coke and a smile (but don't forget to make that mortgage payment!).

2. Anyone who has taught abroad in ESL and thinks that the majority of English teachers abroad are upright beacons of Western righteousness taking a momentary few slices of their life to educate the unfortunates (morally or financially) - considering ETX and his ilk to be non-representative "[expletive(s) of national preference]". You will NOT like this book. Btw, it's YOU who is the crazy one, and the reason you only made it a year or two in the profession is probably b/c your colleagues, supervisors, and students hated your guts.

PS ETX, please stop writing EPrn - your brain is damaged enough from all that fake Vodka already. I want to kick back on my Lay-z-boy with a few chilled craft brews and read more details about your tax filings in future years (just kidding I know it's hard to fill the pages). Whether you end up on Cyprus with "Girlfriend" or a studio pensioner apartment above a tier 3 strip joint in Bangkok/Manila matters not... until the day Be*s*s issues that fatwah ban, we loyal readers shall demand new material! Just a few loyal readers should keep you going. Don't give up. When it comes to money and a(broad)s, your brain will always try to convince you another 20% will make you happy... illusion.

englishteacherx said...

Well, dang, you ought to put that on Amazon ...

englishteacherx said...

Oh, regarding the parts about tax returns -- the editor recommended I cut that, and I said, "This is a book about middle age, death, and taxes, goddamit!"

Anonymous said...

I tried (3 times) - Amazon would not accept it. BS. For some reason the top part of my review was cut off. Re-posting.

********

Presented below is a 3-dimensional review of Requiem for a Vagabond. Analyzed dimensions are (1) good, (2) bad, and (3) ugly. Together these three constructs comprise a travel tale highly recommended for two types of readers.

The Good:
1. The presented observational theory of ESL teaching is firmly grounded in experience. While past qualitative works from this author arguably lack internal validity due to alcohol, drug, and alloerotic instrumentation bias, this work is based on sober observations of the field from the perspective of a middle aged DELTA certified teacher who has taught in Saudia Arabia, Thailand, Korea, Russia, and New York.

Anonymous said...

PS Here's the message Amazon's evil algorithm kept spewing. I can't figure out what caused all of these rejections - I'm a verified purchaser with 100+ "helpful" review votes. B*zos must be personally screening you or something from his death star satellite (yo dude, you can't even make a decent phone, good luck with the spaceship thing).

"Thanks for submitting a customer review on Amazon. Your review could not be posted to the website in its current form. While we appreciate your time and comments, reviews must adhere to the following guidelines:
http://www.amazon.com/review-guidelines."

I actually enjoyed the tax return bits myself, as I have to deal with the same royalty BS myself each year. But I'm a few SDs off from the mean. Usually editors are right... but yeah, f*ck em, we are the artists, ha.

englishteacherx said...

maybe it's because it is in a list format? OR possibly too long?

Abella Colbert said...
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