KingMidget's Ramblings

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A Review … Middle of the Road???

After a summer of glowing four and five star reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads, I got a three star review for One Night in Bridgeport today.  Here it is in its entirety …

Jack has traveled to a small town (Bridgeport) to deliver papers regarding real estate sales bid. Lea has returned to her hometown from college, but has opted to stay the night at the Bridgeport Inn before going home. The two meet in the bar, Jack buys her a drink and one thing leads to that other thing. Next morning, Jack sneaks out very early in the AM. Unfortunately for Lea who woke up feeling like she’d like a relationship with this man. Her old school friend is now a lawyer, he takes her to dinner, she tells him her life story including the recent one night stand (why would she I ask??) Lawyer Butkis says she’s been raped and should press charges and refuses to believe her when she says she was a willing participant. Case proceeds with no physical evidence – he said/she said. Jack is a very unlikable fellow – he’s kind of skated through life on looks and charm. Lea is pretty but not to bright is my opinion. And a pushover. I only finished it to see how they managed to get to the predictable ending but I’m not gonna tell you how it ends. You can figure it out just like I did – its not difficult. Just not too good. Plus I was wondering about the large spaces between paragraphs, and/or conversation parts – taking up paper space when you don’t have enough of a good story to make it single spaced? Meh

I believe that reviewers should get to speak their mind.  To state their opinion.  I am perfectly willing to accept three star reviews.  Two star reviews.  And one star reviews.  But I’d at least like them to have some basis in reality, in what the story actually was.  I’m not going to pick on the reviewer’s grammar, spelling and punctuation.  I’ll let my readers do that.  😉

But come on.  Butkus (notice the correct spelling.  Oh, wait, I wasn’t going to cover that) didn’t take her to dinner.  He took her to lunch.  At which time she didn’t say she was a willing participant.  She was ambivalent and hurt and pissed off.  Jack has skated through his life on looks and charm?  Really?  Hey, readers of this blog — if you read the book, is that the sense you got of Jack, because it most certainly was not my intent to create that picture.

But the biggest problem with this review is the complaint about “large spaces between paragraphs” and the suggestion that I double spaced things to make up for the lack of a good story.  The story was almost 100,000 words, which these days is long compared to a lot of e-published books.  I’m going to need to go back to my Kindle and see what the story looks like on it.  I do know that I’ve learned since I originally pushed Bridgeport that I should get ride of the page break that begins each chapter in a paperback when I publish it to Kindle, but even with that the comment makes absolutely no sense to me and, ultimately, to me doesn’t belong in a review.  It’s like the people who give a one star review to a book because it didn’t arrive in the mail as soon as the reader thought it would.

Regular reader … if you read Bridgeport on your Kindle and thought there was too much white space, let me know.



10 responses to “A Review … Middle of the Road???

  1. Charles Yallowitz August 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Yeah. That last part seemed really uncalled for.

  2. Patti Hall August 30, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I have not read any of your books.I wish reviewers would remember that a review is not about their own clever turn of nasty words. It is like the person who talks in a crowd, to hear himself talk, not to participate in a conversation.
    Sorry you got this crap review, and of, course, you are weighing all the good ones against this…while it rolls of your shoulders :>)

  3. Carrie Rubin August 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I did not get that impression of Jack, either. True, he had some unlikable traits, but in my opinion, a good protagonist is a flawed protagonist. No one is perfect. Neither should our protagonists be.

    While I’ve watched my skin grow visibly thicker over this past year, I’ve realized how many different perspectives readers take away from our books, perspectives we had never intended. Furthermore, I learned that what pleases one reader ticks another one off. The part of my story that makes some readers give it a 5-star review is the same part that makes others give it a three (or a two…).

    I recently finished reading JK Rowling’s latest, ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling.’ In looking through the reviews I was startled by the contrast. So many 5 stars; so many 1 stars. I’ve come to see it as a good sign that readers feel passionate enough to leave a review–whether good or bad, whether accurate facts or not. Indifference might just be worse…

    As for the white space in Bridgeport? I don’t remember noticing anything amiss. If there was, the great story made any formatting glitches invisible to my eyes. 🙂

    • Carrie Rubin August 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      I meant to add that looking at the reviewer’s other reviews is helpful, too. I have been grateful for a three-star review when I see that the reviewer’s list is full of one- and two-star reviews and nary a four or five…

  4. Vince Dickinson August 30, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    There are much nicer ways to say what this reviewer said. If I read this review about a book I would mark it as not helpful. And that’s not because I like you or because I want great reviews myself. It’s because they could have said things more constructively if they thought the book could have been better.

  5. Bastet August 31, 2013 at 7:42 am

    I’d say that you’ve been lucky this summer, seems that there are a lot of people in this world who like to make their existence felt by denigrating others. Hopefully the others will stay in the wood work.

  6. runningtoherdreams August 31, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I am only a few pages in studying has taken over my reading other than here, but I haven’t noticed and so far so good! 🙂

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