Thursday, May 17, 2007

My comment about HK's exception to the "if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing" rule

Earlier this evening I wrote this comment on one of HK's reviews. I'm really curious about why Harriet Klausner said these things about these two authors. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts:

After reading the Wall Street Journal article about Harriet Klausner from March of 2005, I have one burning question: what on earth did authors Ralph McInerny and Cassie Edwards ever do to Harriet Klausner?

I mean, here is a woman who loves virtually everything she reads. Out of her nearly 14,000 reviews by far the majority enjoy the highest rating; there are only a handful that have received the dreaded three star review. Coming from HK with her thousands of five star reviews getting three stars from her is a real kick in the teeth.

But then she mentions these two authors in the Wall Street Journal which has a print circulation of more than two and a half million readers, saying about Ralph McInerny, " I can't stand his books." What could possibly be so bad about the Father Dowling mystery books that Ralph McInerny writes to make this woman publicly humiliate this author?

She also had unkind words for Cassie Edwards, author of the Dreamcatcher Indian series. Harriet Klausner says of Cassie Edward's novels: " It's the same story over and over." This from a woman who can read a dozen Nascar romances back to back and be enchanted by them all. She also goes on to say in that interview "There is never enough to read." However she makes it clear she will never be in desperate enough straits to read anything by these two authors.

Cassie Edwards is published by Dorchester publishing, Ralph McInerny by Ace publishing. I'm fairly certain that I've seen Harriet Klausner reviewing other authors from Ace publishing house but I can't say I've seen the name Dorchester publishing on any of her books, although it could well be there. I wonder, did the publishers not send her ARCs from these two authors and is that the source of her disapproval, or did the authors themselves decline to have her review them?

Harriet Klausner has said that she doesn't write bad reviews because coming from her "it could be the kiss of death for an author". So how about saying their books suck in a national newspaper with millions of readers?
May 16 2007


Deborah Hern said...

First, the authors have pretty much no say on which reviewers review them. Books come to reviewers mainly from publishers and/or publicists. Sometimes from authors, but not usually.

When books come from publishers, for example, Ace or Dorchester, the authors aren't sitting around making a list of "don't send to" people. (I have a great story about this that I'll put in a post so as not to hijack this one.)

As to why she singled out these authors? Maybe she has a problem with priests? Or Indians? Or maybe she picked two random authors out of the air to "prove" that she doesn't just loooove every single book she reads. That would be my bet.

Moderator said...

A very good question. Well, first, I don't know :-), and second, I wouldn't expect a lot of logical consistency from HK. Maybe she really dislikes those two, who knows? There's no connection with anything else she says; after all, it's highly unlikely that the mass of reviews posted under her name have actually been written by her.