Monday, October 30, 2006

What is the point?

Although I don't think many of them are worth the time and effort readers put into them, sometimes if I'm trying to remember the storyline of a book I haven't read in a while and I can't find one anywhere else, I'll check out the reviews for it on Amazon. This can be most frustrating at times as I notice a lot of them don't give any kind of outline at all of the story.

Take this one for example:
I was captivated by this book. I enjoyed coming home every night from my hectic life to escape into this book. Penelope Williamson is a CLASSIC writer!!!!!! I highly recommend THIS book as well as her others. You can't go wrong opening any one of her books!

What the heck is the point of that? It tells you nothing! It doesn't even mention the characters names! Then there is this review of the same book:

Browsing through Amazon reviews for fun, I saw this book had none. Can't have that! I've read all of Ms. Williamsons books, and as always - this one doesn't disappoint. It has great character development, a plot with surprises, and enough steamy romance to keep the pages turning. She also touches upon a great time in Early American History. Treat youself to a great read!!!
Again - not story outline, no character, not nothing. The thing that amused me though was seeing that 6 out of 8 people found it helpful. Helpful for what?

The book by the way is A Wild Yearning by Penelope Williamson - going for $25. And I have one!

Here's another review of a different book by the same author:

This book is in my top five all time favorite book list. I have read this book at least ten times and I love it as much now as I did when I was 16. I highly recommend this book to all romance lovers this is what a romance book is suppose to be like. ENJOY!!!!
Once in a Blue Moon by Penelope Williamson

If I'm in a contrary mood, I often answer the "Was this review helpful to you" question - always saying NO! It didn't tell me a thing.

I also get a kick out of reading 1 star reviews. Here's real gem:
I couldn't enjoy this book because the heroine got treated like crap the whole book by everyone because of the sins her sister committed. Even at the end of the book, they were all still treating her like crap. And none of the people who hurt her ever got their comeuppance.

Again - no plot, no characters, nothing. I answered No to this one being useful. But 4 out of 8 people did find is useful. In what way I have no idea.

This Side of Heaven by Karen Robards

Here's another 2 star review that is completely meaningless:
I feel like the lone ranger here, but I did not enjoy this book. I finished it all the time hoping that something would click, but it just never happened. I never came to care about the characters and the story dragged on for what seemed like forever.
Swan's Grace by Linda Francis Lee

I dunno; it seems to me if you are going to go to the effort of writing a review on Amazon, you should at least mention character names, a brief summary and maybe a more detailed reason of why you liked or disliked the book. Harriet Klausner, although many mock her (myself included at times), at least makes an effort to tell something of the story. And that's very helpful when I need help with my memory

'til later


nath said...

Well I guess everyone has their own style of reviewing... altho I agree with you, it isn't really helpful. Altho, it does tell if the book was entertaining or not? I never read those reviews anyway, cos you don't know the person and her tastes... that's why I've found blogland :P But yeah, at least, they should mention the characters names and a bit of the plot. You know what's the most annoying tho, is you don't know what they like...

so thinking of buying a couple more books?

Kristie (J) said...

Nath: LOL! I'm always thinking of buying more books. But there isn't any out at the moment that I want. I'm sure that will be different in a few days once more of November's books start showing up. I was just clicking on the books on my Library Thing (I love that feature) and it takes you right to Amazon. And the main reason I read them is to try and get a jolt as to the story if I forget and some of them just don't give me that jolt :)

ag said...

Kristie, I had the same problem. That's why I started turnign to reader blogs and other alternative sites like fictionwise, paperbackreader. I try not to give the entire plot away in my posts, so sometimes I end up forgetting to summarise. (Oops!)

It's a good point you've raised, and certainly to be adopted. Thanks!

Rosario said...

I notice the negative ones are better than the positive ones, and that's usually the case at amazon. At least they try to explain what they didn't like, even if they don't say anything about the plot. That's marginally useful. The positive ones, OTOH, tell me nothing.

sybil said...

Really? hmmm I have A Wild Yearning by Penelope Williamson too. cool

I have even read it and recall liking it. But can't tell you jack about it.

CindyS said...

I always read for the 1 star reviews - sometimes hearing that the reader was bored is enough to make me re-think my impulse purchase.

In all honesty, I like the review feature for all the other products. It let's me know if a hot dog toaster is really worth the 50 bucks or if it only toasts one side of the hot dog. No. Really. It was important info at the time ;)

I also will click not helpful if a review sucks wind and will always click helpful if a review is well done. Hey, they took the time to do it, I can take the time to click a button ;)


Stacy~ said...

I'm going to make sure I'm more careful when I do reviews...when I do them. It's been ages. Nothing is sparking.

You bring up some good points Kristie.