Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Amazon's Reviewers

Thanks to Harold for this interesting piece in Slate on Amazon's "amateur reviewers."

Who Is Grady Harp?
Amazon's Top Reviewers and the fate of the literary amateur.
By Garth Risk Hallberg
Posted Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008, at 7:33 AM ET
Full disclosure: It was late at night, in a fit of furtive self-Googling, that I discovered the first Amazon customer review of my debut book of fiction. "Superb," wrote Grady Harp of Los Angeles. "Fascinating ... addictive." Not to mention "profound." Such extravagance should have aroused suspicion, but I was too busy basking in the glow of a five-star rave to worry about the finer points of Harp's style. Sure, he'd spelled my name wrong, but hadn't he also judged me "a sensitive observer of human foibles"? Only when I noticed the "Top 10 Reviewer" tag did I wonder whether Grady Harp was more than just a satisfied customer. After a brief e-mail exchange, my publicist confirmed that she'd solicited Grady Harp's review.

Read the rest here...

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