Bad Book Reviews
As part of my marketing efforts, I write many book reviews. However, I do not write uncomplimentary book reviews. Why? The main reason is that I believe in karma. Bad things happen when I send out negative waves. Another reason is that it is not in my nature to publicly criticize somebody. The world is negative enough without my help. And finally, I have certainly felt the sting of a bad review and they are especially painful when the criticism is valid.
If everybody followed my chaotic moral code, would we only have good reviews? There will always be negative people and a bad item can upset a person so much that they need to vent.
There are hundreds of books and movies out there. When I find one that I do not like, I stop reading/watching. Life is too short to slog through boring media. What about a movie theater? I am thinking about the movies Stealth and Thin Red Line. Two hours of my life that I will not get back.
Let’s take a recent example of a book I put down. The Mammoth Book of True War Stories by Jon Lewis. I made it to 20 pages. It had a bland writing style, boring stories, many errors, and I found the format unappealing.
What did I expect? I expected that a book titled “war stories” to have war stories. This particular book contained battle stories. One is a personal account of a specific incident and the other a historical description from a soldier’s perspective.
I expected real war stories like the ones my Uncle Al told me from this time in Vietnam. Here is one that I remember. He had been driving along a dirt road, came across kids making faces, hit a land mine and went flying. Afterward, the kids laughed, which confirmed they knew about the mine. My angry uncle swung his rifle around and pointed it at them. The kids looked scared to death and at the very last moment, he decided not to shoot.
Is this an earth-shattering story? No. Does this story contain a plot? Not really. However, it is a perfect war story. Why? It is personal, interesting and reveals what happened in that conflict. The best part of this story is that Al shared it with me and I now have a connection to that event. That is the kind of personal connection I expected out of the Mammoth Book and it failed at every level.
Should I have blasted the Mammoth Book with a scorching bad review? At least give it one star. If we took young Bill forward in time, he would have written an angry misspelled mess and sent it to every corner of the internet. I feel that life is too short to dwell on the negative. On a side note, for this blog, I looked at a few reviews on this particular book and they confirmed my negative opinion. Perhaps I should have been more careful with my reading choice.
What about giving a bad review to something that upset me? I recall two products on Amazon and two movies on Netflix that I wrote bad reviews for. To date, I have posted over 200 good book reviews. Will I write bad book reviews in the future? If authors keep coming out with Mammoth Books of Worthless Junk, there is hope.

You’re the best -Bill
April 08, 2020

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