Wednesday 1 January 2020

Star one stars!

I was recently the lucky recipient of this 1* review on Amazon. It struck me as worthy of note because not only is it not a review of the book, it's not even a criticism of Amazon. It's more of a critique of the customer's own life skills...

"1*: Can't remember ordering these books. Not my type of subject. Unable to find a method of cancelling the transaction"

Anyway, it set me hunting through the 1* sections of famous fantasy books in search of similar.

Obviously a certain percentage of Amazon users opt to use the review section for books they've bought in order to review Amazon itself.

The mindset that thinks an author should be burdened with a 1* review because the physical book itself had a crease on the cover etc is not one that comes naturally to me - but there is a level on which I can understand it. So here are bunch of them just for laughs!

Some of these seem to concern books from secondary sellers  of used books - but because no seller attribution is given they are less than worthless as warnings. And of course, the author who is getting saddled with the 1* made zero money from the sale.

A Game of  Thrones

This product was listed as Used - Very Good and described as:
      The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far.
      When l got the book it was filthy. It had coffee stains and general grime spilled on the cover. The bottom of the book had a wedge torn out of about 50 pages, going the full length of the pages.
      Delivery was slow to boot. First time lve used this seller, awful experience

First delivery was returned because the product was damaged. Second delivery arrived and is also damaged.

Where's the italics?
Great book but the conversion to electronic format hasn't worked properly and no words in italic font are visible.

All the pages were falling out. I had to throw it away. bought a new one

This book does not appear new. Bought as a present for my Dad for Father's Day so very disappointing. Covers are creased and there are dirty marks on the edges.

The item I received is defective. The pages are upside down. Obviously faulty stock. I want a full refund

Kindle edition - never received

I did not order this book no one uses my kindle got a surprise to see this come on my kindle no one else here to do this don't try it again.

& one of my personal favourites...

Is this the first book that I should read first?

The Name of the Wind:

Am currently about half way through this book and loving every minute of the story - so much so I am putting up with the minuscule print! Have been looking for a better copy but thus far no luck. I refuse to go kindle, I generally love the feel and scent of paper, this is hideous though... cheap and borrower sized... someone save me!

Read this book before, so bought to re read for fun.
Unforftunately this book has been through the wars. I know it was marked as 'used' but Jesus this is taking the piss!
Book is completely water damaged, yellow stuff on the pages, muck (actual muck!) on the back cover & looks like it been kicked up and down the shop a fair few times...

Prince of Thorns:

Opened my package, where I expected to find a NEW book, and found a copy which was creased on the spine and at the corner, and worn down. Very unhappy.

I also looked at The Lies of Locke Lamora which had more of the same, but interestingly to me: it seemed that every other review on was complaining of the cuss words, which amused me, as this is a book where a man has broken glass slowly ground into his eyes ... and yet these people cared about words like "piss" or the dreaded f-bomb. Fuck that! On I found only one complaint. Clearly Brits are less bothered by 'language'. Perhaps if I went on the Australian Amazon I'd find people complaining that there was too little swearing!

Anyway, there you have it. Books judged not only by their cover but by their pages, typography, packaging, coffee stains, and even whether the customer remembered ordering it.

Have a great 2020!


  1. Hi Mark

    All the best to you and your family.

    I'm a new writer based between Liverpool and Manchester in the Northwest of England.

    I write in the tech Sci-Fi / Fantasy genre and noticed you did research in the field of A.I.
    I'm struggling to find anything that mixes the same aspects I'm passionate about within either genre . . . This could be great or too niche !!

    I'd really like to discuss my story via email if you have time?

    Good luck with your new saga the book of ice.

  2. Nice post! It sold three more books for you. If the font on the Kindle is too small I will try not to hold that against you :)

  3. Blog post idea: top 10 first books that you should read first

  4. 1*:

    The content of the post was humorous and enjoyable. However, while I was reading I accidentally hit an unknown key that caused the font to enlarge to a ridiculous extent. Also, there is a coffee stain on my mouse that caused a sticky feeling every time I attempted to scroll down the page.