The Official Blog of Iain Rob Wright: A Bad Review finally got to me...

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

A Bad Review finally got to me...

Many will have heard me speak fondly of bad reviews in the past. I have learned a great deal from them regarding my flaws and weaknesses. I have improved my work in certain areas as a direct result of comments made in negative reviews. There are, however, two types of bad reviews. There are those which seek to back up their assertions with evidence (constructive criticism) and there are those which are the vitriolic ramblings of an angry, spiteful person. Today I read a review from the latter and felt inclined to break my usual rule of not responding to reviews. Below is the review I received on Amazon, followed by my reply. I hope it teaches the lesson that a bad review should make no assumptions. It should stick only to the facts and relate only to the book itself. Just because someone has read one of my books, does not mean they know a single thing about me. I write characters with views of their own. If one of my protagonists collects stamps, that does not mean that I do. The truth is that I would never make my own views entirely obvious through my work, because then I am not creating fiction, I am writing propaganda.


THE REVIEW
First of all, I LOVED Origin, the first book in this mini-series, however, I literally could NOT finish past the 44% part of the story. Why? Let me list the issues which ruined this story line. First of all, it was mainly written by Mr. Wright, not Mr. Konrath (J.A. mentions it in his prelude) and almost immediately, we are confronted (that's what it seemed to me, an in your face confrontation with Wright's political values) with a jarring discussion about Andy gladly letting Sun whip him by taking on her surname along with his. If Mr. Wright believes in the furthering of male feminization, then more power to him; i didn't buy the follow up story to have some British twit shove his political/societal views on me; i bought this follow up to continue reading a GREAT STORY about the aftermath of little bubs and what they were up to. Secondly, what the heck? What was the idea behind the British lout, Jerry and the two men in black showing up minutes later and allowing them to keep Jerry if they promise to keep a watch on him. Really? Terrible; simple terrible. The one scene in the book where I had to say 'enough is enough' was when Lucas stated that he was both Jesus and the Devil. So now not only is WRIGHT lecturing us instead of entertaining us, but he's also insulting those of us of faith by...well you get the idea. Very insulting experience and if i had read other Konrath books, i would immediately put him in my DO NOT BUY list. However, his stories, and ONLY his stories are great entertainment. Lessons to be learned; firstly, NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM MR. WRIGHT. Secondly, never buy anything that's a collaboration with J.A. Konrath that INCLUDES WRIGHT. Thirdly, only buy stories with Konrath as the only author. The one collaborative work that was successful was draculas. Hopefully I can someday reclaim the time i wasted with this garbage.

MY REPLY
Hi Robert. Just FYI - the 2 points you are most irate about - namely Andy taking his wife's surname and Lucas being both Jesus and the Devil - were Joe's ideas, not mine (not that I had any problem with them). Considering your comments, that is quite ironic, no? In hindsight, it makes your comments seem rather rash and judgemental, and entirely incorrect. If you would like to see my original story (and then judge my entire personalty and belief structures based on a short work of fiction), then it is included at the back of the book as an added extra. This was alluded to in the foreword (by Joe) and would have allowed you to check your assumptions (which you would then have seen as incorrect). In my original draft, Sun takes Andy's name in the traditional way and Lucas does not mention 'Jesus' at any point. Those changes were made by Joe (which I, again, totally endorse). You can blame me for whatever you want regarding the original draft of the book (which comes after the first version in the ebook copy) as Joe had no involvement with it other than offering me a short brief. The version you read was actually a very even 50/50 split between Joe and myself, and he changed a great deal, as he had creative control over his universe (I was writing a book using his copyrighted characters after all). I do not usually comment on reviews, as I am grateful to any reader, whether they enjoyed the book or not. I do however feel that this review was unfair and bordering on xenophobia. I am no 'British Twit' and my love for America is equal to my love for my own country. I would never seek to lecture anybody on either shore. I would ask you to bear in mind that authors are people, too, and when they read rash and spiteful reviews (NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM MR WRIGHT. Seriously?) it is hurtful. Not only that, but when you urge people not to purchase my books, then you are trying to damage my potential to feed my wife and son. You seem so intent on traditional family roles (My wife took my surname by the way, you'll be glad to hear), so please allow me to earn a living and support my family. I'm sorry you did not enjoy the book, truly, but please try not to be so unkind. We all have to live in this world together! All the best, Iain Rob Wright

10 comments :

Linda said...

Some people are fundamentally A-holes. You handled it quite well and were much nicer than I would have been.

paula limbaugh said...

I think you replied quite nicely. Without being argumentative or on the defense, you were able to state just the facts without offending the "reviewer." Hopefully in the future this reviewer won't be so rash in judging someone's work. I know not everyone is going to like the same books as others, and even at times there might be a book by your favorite author that left you disappointed and you can state that in you review. But, to pan someone's work so harshly is uncalled for.

Claire Hill said...

Your reply is rather restrained considering the tone of the 'review'

Iain Rob Wright said...

I have to try and remain professional even when upset. :-)

Dave said...

I'm stunned - he seemed so fair and balanced in his review of "Taken and Creamed II".

Go figure.

Tracy Sharp - Author of the Leah Ryan Series said...

That was a really harsh review. I've had a few like that, and they do smart. Some people clearly haven't even read the book before bashing it, so it makes me wonder. Red Surf has zero sex scenes, yet one reviewer said she was tired of the sex scenes. WTF? That was hard for me not to comment on.

Your response was professional and classy.

Jennifer Pulliam said...

I agree with all the previous comments regarding how you handled this jerk's review. But let me make one thing clear...he is WRONG! As far as your work is concerned, I have thoroughly enjoyed every book I've read to this point, will continue reading your books and will continue to recommend them to my friends, family, etc. Kudos for not blasting this inconsiderate person who obviously does not understand how to write a proper review. I'm sorry it was hurtful to you. We, being all of your loyal readers, love your work and hold you in the highest regard. Have a better day today and forget about one fool! 💙

A. Renee Hunt said...

What a personal and professional way to approach the situation. I haven't gotten that far, since I'm just about halfway done with The Final Winter, but he guy also gave spoilers which is a bummer... I'm a greenhorn of an author, and look to one day write as wonderfully as you do. Until then, I pray no one hits my reviews like that gentleman! Cheers!

Iain Rob Wright said...

Thanks, guys. Hope your own work is going well, A.Renee.

scott-carlina cornell said...

I think your reply was very good...I really never say replps what so ever and I find that you both did a good job...he/she is trolling and I find that the book was very enertaining and telling people to never buy you books is cruel...next time dude a honest review but don't tell people what to buy...truth be told I never go by review or write because my opinion and others can be different...plus people online can be very cruel...If it was nit iain I would not have read origan...now I got another author I like...