Tuesday, March 13

Feeling bad for Harriet...

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm feeling a little bad for Harriet Klausner. I discovered over on Meljean's blog that she has some rabid anti-Harriet Klausner fangirls.

Clueless didn't even know you could leave comments on the Amazon reviews. And it's the rare occasion that I would even search out a review there. There are 19 coments attached to her review for Midnight Lover, none complimentary.

I've always considered her rather harmless. So she's reviewed 13,000+ books and they all get 4 or 5 stars--LOL. Is she hurting anyone by doing this? Does anyone take her seriously?

Does she deserve the criticism because of her less than stellar reviews?

Or is there something more sinister going on?

According to Time Magazine and Wired articles she doesn't get paid for her reviews. She also reviews for Allreader.com and I thought they did pay for reviews at one time, but I may be wrong.

Heck, I'd love to get a fraction of her ARCs.

So what do you think? Harmless, deserved, something more sinister or what?

17 comments:

Jane said...

Harmless, mostly but because of the amount of attention she gets, she does have meaning to some people.

mamx said...

harmless i guess. but those who leave comment dont know her story i bet. i wonder are the review even real? and if so must be an oscar wilder kind of reader who could read a big book in 2 hours or something? he was supersmart

Angie said...

I guess I wouldn't say completely harmless. I think it would be one thing if her reviews provided correct information, but she seems to get facts, names, plot points and other things wrong in her reviews. I'm not an author, but I've seen the frustration of authors when this happens. It's not like you can ask Harriet Klausner to do a correction, like you can with other review sites. I guess I'd be frustrated too, if it were me and my book. I'd at least like to know the person reading it paid attention enough to use the right character names. To realize the plot question they posed was answered at the end of the book, or that the plot point they highlighted never even happened. Yeah, I'd be frustrated too.

Tara Marie said...

Jane, ...but because of the amount of attention she gets, she does have meaning to some people. But I wonder if these people are other reviewers, readers or authors.

mamx, supposedly she's a speed reader. I learned speed reading in high school but found I'd miss the smaller details.

Angie, if you read the comments I'm not sure you can tell whether or not they're authors. For some reason I don't think so--I may be wrong. Though I can understand an author being frustrated by one of her reviews, but then again I'm not sure how many readers take them remotely seriously.

Rosie said...

I think she's, for the most part, harmless. I agree with Angie that it would be pretty frustrating for an author when she gives out incorrect information.

I do believe she was a paid reviewer for RT once upon a forever ago. I don't know what happened she just disappeared out of the magazine and began to do reviews at Amazon online.

nath said...

I think she is harmless to the world except herself. I mean, she's ruining her own credibility and that's pretty sad to see. Seriously, I think she should clean up her act...

Tara Marie said...

Rosie, I just dumped a bunch of really old RT's I could have checked :)

Nath, she is her own worst enemy, but some of these commentors verge on stalker and a little creepy.

meljean brook said...

They're definitely stalking her -- which is, in any situation, odd and freaky behavior. Even a politician that I thought was terrible, I wouldn't go around booing him, and politicians actually do stuff like start wars and whatever.

I think her reviews are bad, but I also don't know that anyone really takes them too seriously. And I'm not sure why the Anti-Klausners are SO outraged and offended. What is it that they're trying to accomplish? She's not a good reviewer ... but I think there are worse things than writing a lot of bad reviews on Amazon.

Tara Marie said...

Meljean, I was trying to be nice but you're right they are stalking her and ultimately what can be their purpose? There definitely are worse things :]

Ann(ie) said...

Wow, creepy. I don't think her reviews are terribly enlightening, but surely there are worse offenders in the world more worthy of scorn?

Devon said...

Harriet Klausner is to be taken with a grain of salt, but she is harmless. Once upon a time I did read a hysterical comment aimed at her. But to stalk her seems overboard.

AngieZ said...

I have always totally ignored her reviews because they are just plot summaries. I first encountered Harriets reviews on bookcrossing.com and used to get upset because it is supposed to be a read/release/trade site. Who could possibly review that many books and not get rid of them?

I think she is harmless except for the skewed ratings she is producing. Her stalkers are pretty weird though.

Glenda Larke said...

I have also blogged about this. I think what creeps me out most is the vitriolic comments from some of the commentators about the fiction that Harriet reviews. Heavens, you'd think that genre fiction - any genre you care to name - was nothing more than copy for a new brand of toilet paper, the way they talk about it! Don't they ever read anything other than Ulysses to be so ignorant of what is out there these days? And why the vitriol anyway?

I must admit I am increasingly puzzled by Harriet's reviewing volume, though. Not even the most super sonic speed reader could get through that number of books...

Tara Marie said...

Annie, exactly, creepy and what's the point.

Devon, I thought maybe someone would come up with a logical reason for this but no one has commented anything other than "harmless"

AngieZ, I've never heard of bookcrossing.com--read/release/trade sounds interesting. If I did nothing else all day everyday I could possibly read 3 books a day, no working, no housekeeping, no LIFE. Before I had my son, I worked full-time and read 500 pages a day, between commuting and evening. Maybe her speed reading method works--doubtful--LOL.

Glenda, you've hit on something I didn't comment about. Her stalkers don't just take issue with the amount of reviews, they're also poking fun at genre fiction. If I were an author I'd probably be more offended by this than Harmless Harriet's poorly written reviews.

PS I saw your blog post, but just lurked--glad you left a comment :D

Sam said...

I think she's just a woman who likes to read and who can give a synopsis and a good review for anything she reads. I happen to know several publishers who use her as their in-house reviewer, so she gets crates of books for free.
She has reviewed all of mine (my Jennifer Macaire books), and I never sent her one, nor did I ever request a review. I did send her a thank you note after she reviewed my first book (I was surprised she did, but I thought it was awfully nice. She posts the reviews in a lot of places, and an author would have to be insane to gripe about free publicity).
I have no gripes with her, nor with Miss Giggles, her evil twin, lol, who gives reviews and nearly always slams the book.
Opinions are simply opinions, not facts, and literature, being an art, is subjective.

Zeek said...

(oops that was me who deleted my previous comment!)

Okay I've done my Klausner bashing- but she's more of a joke to me. I mean, c'mon, you can't love EVERY book you read!

I had no idea people we're leaving comments on her reviews!!! That's tacky trailer trash behavior if you ask me and just down right scary.

I've also noted the down and dirty comments by people who are literary snobs against genre fiction- specifically romance. I just don't get why people feel the need to do it. bet they're closet romance readers to ashamed to come into the light.

Holly said...

I read very fast. Very, Very. Sometimes I read upwards of 4 books a day, so it's possible she's reading as much as she's reviewing. Doubtful, but possible (do you notice how many reviews I DON'T post at SF?).

As for her stalkers, I suppose I don't really understand it either. I was kind of thinking about it the other day. I mean, sure, she's got to be a little nutty to just post glowing reviews all the time, but OTOH, she's not really hurting anyone, is she?

Weird.