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Books

Journal Journal: Harriet Klausner - the #1 Worst Reviewer

So I am surfing through Locus Online and look through the new books that are being released. Appears MAPPA MUNDI, Justina Robson's second novel. Well, since Locus states that the book is an "SF novel, about software that can read and write into the human brain, seen as a curative by some, a mind-control device by others" I procede to Amazon to check it out and to grab the ISBN number so I may mooch it.

There is one customer review for the book. The review is 5 (out of 5) stars. Harriet Klausner really likes this mystery, and WOW she is currently THE #1 reviewer on Amazon. What the hell does that even mean?!!

I must investigate. It would seem that for Harriet to succeed in reviewing novels she would need to be able to write well in easy language that everyone can understand. She must review ALOT. Her reviews must help those that are looking for books to buy.

Now, I thought that perhaps another requirement for success in reviewing would be that the woman would rate books appropriate to their worth, quality and enjoyment. Apparently not. I go now to a link that says: "See all 12417 reviews." What? Harriet Klausner has read 12,417 books? And remembered and absorbed enough about all of these books to write reviews? Maybe Amazon is incorrectly counting her number of reviews?

Well, lets take a small journey and look at a small, short list of her more recent reviews:

  • Heat Signature: A Novel by Lisa Teasley -- Rated 5 stars -- strong psychological drama -- October 5, 2006

  • The Accomplice (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries) by Elizabeth Ironside -- Rated 4 stars -- This is as much a garden tea party as a mystery -- October 4, 2006

  • Haunting Olivia by Janelle Taylor -- Rated 4 stars -- wonderful second chance at love thriller -- October 4, 2006

  • Sweet Revenge (Revenge of the Sisterhood) by Fern Michaels -- Rated 4 stars -- Sisterhood VENDETTA -- October 4, 2006

  • Kidnapped: A Novel (Irene Kelly Mysteries) by Jan Burke -- Rated 5 stars -- excellent -- October 4, 2006

  • Going Home by Harriet Evans -- Rated 4 stars -- interesting English character study -- October 4, 2006

  • Finding Noel: A Novel by Richard Paul Evans -- Rated 5 stars -- terrific allegorical tale -- October 4, 2006

  • A Peach of a Murder: A Fresh-Baked Mystery by Livia J. Washburn -- Rated 4 stars -- entertaining who done it -- October 4, 2006

  • Played by Barbara Freethy -- Rated 4 stars -- terrific romantic suspense -- October 4, 2006

  • Give Him the Slip by Geralyn Dawson -- Rated 5 stars -- wonderfully romantic Holy Terror of Texas thriller -- October 4, 2006

  • Parallel Heat by Deidre Knight -- Rated 5 stars -- complex "Parallel" military science fiction romance -- October 4, 2006

  • Love, Lust and Pixie Dust by LuAnn McLane -- Rated 4 stars -- three interrelated paranormal romances -- October 4, 2006

  • Once Upon a Spring Morn by Dennis L. McKiernan -- Rated 5 stars -- magical fairytale -- October 4, 2006

  • Greywalker by Kat Richardson -- Rated 5 stars -- satirical fantasy mystery -- October 4, 2006

  • Glass Houses: The Morganville Vampires, Book I (The Moganville Vampires) by Rachel Caine -- Rated 5 stars -- enthralling coming of age supernatural tale -- October 4, 2006

  • A Dangerous Love by Bertrice Small -- Rated 5 stars -- action-packed erotic historical romance -- October 4, 2006

  • The Secret Heiress by Judith Gould -- Rated 4 stars -- fine contemporary romantic thriller -- October 4, 2006

  • Murder, She Wrote: Three Strikes and You're Dead (Murder, She Wrote) by Jessica Fletcher -- Rated 5 stars -- local baseball murder case -- October 4, 2006

  • What Matters Most by Nicole Bokat -- Rated 5 stars -- interesting relationship drama -- October 4, 2006

  • Conservatize Me: How I Tried to Become a Righty with the Help of Richard Nixon, Sean Hannity, Toby Keith, and Beef Jerky by John Moe -- Rated 4 stars -- delightfully funny exposé on those who are right -- October 4, 2006

  • Just One Sip by Katie Macalister -- Rated 4 stars -- three amusing and interesting vampiric romantic fantasies -- October 4, 2006

  • Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun by Kathleen Bacus -- Rated 4 stars -- amusing lighthearted mystery -- October 4, 2006

  • Love on the Ropes by Pat White -- Rated 5 stars -- fun wrestling romance -- October 4, 2006

  • Sign of the Cross by Chris Kuzneski -- Rated 4 stars -- action-packed Christian conspiracy thriller -- October 4, 2006

  • Dance of the Gods (The Circle Trilogy, Book 2) by Nora Roberts -- Rated 5 stars -- excellent romantic fantasy -- October 4, 2006

  • Rumble on the Bayou by Jana Deleon -- Rated 5 stars -- excellent romantic police procedural -- October 4, 2006

  • Hawk's Pursuit by Constance O'Banyon -- Rated 5 stars -- terrific western romance -- October 4, 2006

  • Savage Tempest by Cassie Edwards -- Rated 4 stars -- for fans of the author -- October 4, 2006

  • Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber -- Rated 5 stars -- terrific look at Marie Antoinette through her fashion -- October 4, 2006

  • The Keeper by Sarah Langan -- Rated 5 stars -- dark scary thriller -- October 4, 2006

...and so on. About 66 reviews were posted on October 4th, each one about 300 words in length, for a total of about 20000 words. Practically a novel in itself. More were posted on October 3rd. I can only assume that the 12,417 reviews is a proper count.

In summary, I believe that this reviewer is inhuman, or rather, multiple people, with some sort of agenda. Feel free to do your own analysis. Contact Amazon. Does this whole "top reviewer" ranking system on Amazon seem broken?

Of course, following this rant, a quick google search turned up a multitude of links to speculation about Harriet. Try it yourself!

Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless. -- Sinclair Lewis

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