Monday, April 28, 2008

amazon one-star meme

A bit of a change from answering questions today. I've decided to echo Kelley's echo of John Scalzi's challenge. Included here is every single one-star amazon review of every single one of my novels.

Most of my amazon critics (I use the term loosely) are wordy bastards, so I've only included excerpts of most of them. Links are to the page of each novel.

It's interesting to put them all together like this and watch patterns emerge. Lots of skiffy readers, it seems, are really disappointed at the notion of lesbians tromping through their nice heterosexual genre. Lots of readers wish Aud were less...Aud-like. I'm interested in what patterns others might see, if any. Let me know.

Meanwhile, enjoy:


This book was too long and the author was too verbose. I really lost interest by the last half of the book and had to force myself to finish. I do think the author shows a great deal of knowledge about martial arts and self defense, I think it would be good for women to pay attention to this information in the book but overall this book was a snooze fest.


This is a poor novel based on two dubious premises.
The first is that grief should be overcome through extreme violence.

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I am surprised that Ms Griffith was happy to put her own name to this novel (she is a multiple award winning author) and also very surprised (and depressed) to find that this is a worse novel than "The Blue Place." Ms Griffith has, I believe, defended the Blue Place by saying that some critics failed to understand that Aud Torvingen doesn't enjoy violence, she enjoys winning. Winning in combat is by definition about inflicting superior violence, a tautology that Ms Griffith avoids openly confronting. However, the toning down of violence in Stay, and the attempts to rehabilitate Aud as a less macho character indicate that she has tacitly accepted the comments of those critics she purports to dismiss. That's dishonest, isn't it?

The Blue Place:

Whatever your politics or orientation might be, I am confused on how anyone can call this a great or even a good book. I am doubly confused by people who call this book a great feminist book. In my opinion, it is neither. The plot is simplistic. The characters are flat with little real depth, only cartoonish depth. The murders and other general violence that occur in the book are needlessly gruesome and overdone. The action is boring. [...] Like many romance novels, the level of writing just isn't very good. And that is what I'm basing my review on.
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I'm sorry but this book went nowhere. It was dull, the characters were hard to decipher and the story line was confusing. I liked Aud but the author's writing style just could not keep my interest. She created a fascinating character in Aud but for some reason she let her get lost in whatever mystery she was trying to create. This was one dull, boring book.

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This is one of the most boring books I've ever read. I ordered it from a recommendation from friends and I can't understand its appeal. The book is almost always going on a tangent, and it feels like a bad travel log in many places. The love story between the two women feels forced. The action is slow. The "lethal" Aud Torvingen never does anything to justify that reputation for lethality other than scowl at a collection of cartoon bad guys. [...] the end feels tacky, slow, and pointless.
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At times I wasn't sure if I were the recipient of a self-defence lecture or reading a travel guide. The narrative style kept changing. It was as if the author was trying to prove how worldly, historically savvy, and philosophically in touch her haunted character was.

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A Xena type fantasy set in Norway and Atlanta.

Slow River:

I read so many good things but even if I had not, I would have been is slow, the characters are cold, there is no excitement in the first 100 pages (I did not finish- I had to grit my teeth to get that far) was dull dull dull.

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This is one of the most boring science fiction novels I have ever read. The story just kind of plods along. I may as well of stared at a wall for a few hours as to have read this. Avoid. It's overrated. Nebula award? Oh boy.

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i was very disappointed in the book, and amazed that it won a nebula. the science fiction aspects are minimal and mainly related to near-future waste management methods. the narrative borrows split-time techniques developed and far better utilized by many others. the story line is obsessed with graphic lesbian encounters. perhaps i was spoiled by having read 3 phillip k dick classics and gene wolfe's masterpiece "the fifth head of cereberus" before this, but this seems like a minor work of limited interest and a short shelf-life. spend your money and time elsewhere. be alerted: several aspects of the book are frankly explicit.

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Unless you are a perverted 13 year old looking to get aroused, don't waste your time. And if you _are_ a 13 year old looking to get aroused, you may find looking at pornography to be more fun, unless you're also doing research on Futuristic Sewage Processing Plant Techniques which also takes up a large portion of the book. [...] The only reason this book has won awards at all is because the literary community is being politically strongarmed into some crazy form of affirmative action for lesbians and gays.

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I've seen from another reviewer, "be warned", written Feb 4, 2003, that gave this novel 1 star, received only 3 out of 27 useful review notations; way more feedback than most other reviews. So what does that mean, that 24 lesbians have commented on that review? This review is specifically for science fiction readers. Personally I should never have to be writing this review because I should never have read this book. But this novel was awarded the Nebula award in 1996 and I was under the idiotic notion that the Nebula was awarded to the BEST science fiction novel of the year, and so I read this book, and thus a review under that context is justified. If one cannot accept criticism or an opinion differing from their own, well what does that say,... what does that say about the tolerance of lesbianism.

The only reason this book got a prize, is that the category of lesbian SF is very small. The "science" in the book is new-age mumbo-jumbo. The book contradicts itself and is inconsistent.The story is a lesbian dream of a world with children, but without men.
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The whole book seemed to be written for lesbian sci-fi readers. Way too much "women ruling the world" and doing a better job garbage. The actual sci-fi parts were good but that counted for only 30 pages or so.

I believe (and have said many times, for example, here) that books are just blueprints of stories, shells, rather like sketches of a house rather than the building itself. The buyer brings her own experience/taste/life furniture, and creates the final dwelling place. Everyone reads a different book. So I generally don't take it personally when readers don't like/don't get my work. But seeing so many lavishly detailed criticisms in a row is rather disheartening. Oh, not because of what that says about my books but because of what it says about people. The willingness to devote so much time and energy to a novel that one doesn't like is...puzzling.

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