Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lassen's reviews gone. RIP.

Check this out: Lassen's profile page with reviews now says "We're sorry, but this customer's list of reviews is currently not available. Please check back soon". Amazon probably got many complaints about his blatant plagiarism and the whole "Lassen Oeuvre" got removed.

I think it's a shame though: it'd be far more edifying if his good works remained, along with the detractors' funny commentary and his vulgar screeching in response.

The most amazing thing is that this semi-literate lowlife is a college professor. Yep, he's supposedly teaching writing (of all things: you should have seen some of his comments) in some provincial college. How did he manage to get the gig? Kids take out large loans to pay for tuition, and for their money they get exposed to this thieving vulgar scumbag's "instruction". Blows my mind.

PS. Of course you can still¹ read his reviews in the "sorted-by-comment" page (comments are unreachable even there though).

PPS. Did you notice that Amazon just bumped off two more whistle-blowing posters, "Jason Kirkfield" and "M"? All their posts that I've seen in the last couple of days have been "deleted by Amazon"... don't know if it's only their latest contribution that got eliminated or they suffered a total wipeout. I've been reading them for a couple of months at least and have never seen them post anything less than articulate, well-supported factually, and logical. But they speak about shills and frauds like Klausner and Lassen -- and that, as we know, isn't something up with which Amazon shall put for a long time. Can't touch this! Good bye friends, and join the club; you've earned your stripes.
Note 1: Regrettably, this is no longer true: everything's gone now, every last vestige of Lassen reviews. What a shame, the stuff was priceless.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Harriet has a competitor? Amazon Top 50 reviewer Amos Lassen

Not that this represents any material threat to our dear Harriet, but the phenomenon is curious in its own right. Apparently plagiarism is rampant on the sacred pages of Amazon. Our correspondent alerts us about another Amazon top reviewer, someone named Amos Lassen. I haven't looked into it in much detail, but upon a cursory perusement it seems interesting. Here's Amos Lassen's reviews page with comments. Many familiar names amongst the critical commenters! Check it out. Oh yeah, there's more: our correspondent points to this Amazon discussion thread for more talk about reviews plagiarism in general and this reviewer in particular (I haven't checked it out, so see for yourselves).

Well, once more: no one beats Harriet at the sheer absurdity of her good works, but hey... there's enough room for everyone under this sun! Check it out and share your thoughts.

Our thanks to our correspondent for pointing us to this new (or not so new, actually -- but certainly new for us) event.

PS. Here's Lassen's Facebook page. Reportedly, it has some relevance to the proceedings as well, so here's the link for the fullness of information. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

OT: Netflix discontinues customer reviews?

Am I losing it or they (Netflix) did just remove the capability of posting a review on their site? That can't be right... what am I missing? I can't see the usual "review this movie" button on the page where it used to be. Enlighten me, please.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What happened to The Butler?

Check this out (italics mine):
A customer [formerly known as The Butler] says:
[Deleted by Amazon on July 10, 2010 2:39 AM PDT

QED. I told you so. Another Amazon wipeout.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Blasphemy! Where are Harriet's reviews?!?!

Here I go to my favorite reviewer's page and -- WHAT?!
We're sorry, but this customer's list of reviews is currently not available. Please check back soon.

What happened with our dear Harriet's reviews, why can't I see them? I can't live, I can't exist, not even one day without reading and rereading Harriet Klausner's valuable reviews, please bring the Klausner over-the-top-of-Empire-State-terrific-chicklit-midappalachia-Noir-amateur-sleuth-cluck-cluck-five-stars-guaranteed reviews back.

[tuning old guitar]
- And now, boys and girls -- a singalong session:

Well, it's one for the money,
Two for the show,
Three to get ready,
Now go, cat, go.

But don't you touch Harriet Klausner blurbs.
You can do anything but lay off of Harriet Klausner reviews.

Well, you can knock me down,
Step in my face,
Slander my name
All over the place.

Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh,
Honey, lay off of Harriet Klausner burbling blurbs
Don't you step on my Harriet Klausner reviews.
You can do anything but lay off of Harriet Klausner reviews.

You can burn my house,
Steal my car,
Drink my liquor
From an old fruitjar.

Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh,
Honey, lay off of Harriet Klausner blurbs
Don't you step on Harriet Klausner blurbs.
You can do anything but lay off of Harriet Klausner blurbs.

Well, it's one for the money,
Two for the show,
Three to get ready,
Now go, cat, go.

But don't you step on Harriet Klausner blurbs.
You can do anything but lay off of Harriet Klausner reviews

[queue in deafening applause]

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Her fans trashed my Listmania lists on Amazon

I started pointing out that Ms. K writes synopses NOT reviews. Next thing I knew my 4 Listmania Lists went from 100% Helpful to 27% in under 30 days. I believe her fans are clearing behind this and it burns my shorts to have this happen to me (and probably many other people).
Does anyone know it there is anything I can do to restore my ratings short of just pulling the lists altogether. I hate that her fans are so vindictive and intolerant. They need to grow up and quit acting like spoiled brats. They are ruining Amazon. Since Amazon won't count my "Not Helpful on Ms. K's reviews anymore, I at least leave a comment.
If you want to see my lists look for "The Butler" (AKA Whimsical Cats) before I take them down to republish at a later date.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Harriet, Harriet, where art thou Harriet?

Unless my computer is experiencing a glitch, the profile of Our Lady of the Infinite Reviews no longer shows up among the Harriet Klausners listed on the "people" space on Amazon. I have to go to the review of a particular unresd item to find her. Has Amazon actually put its most shameless contributor on the back burner? If so, why? As always inquiring minds want to know

Monday, May 31, 2010

Klausner Defense Shield is ON again.

Helen says:
Interesting. My yes 'votes' counted on the other reviews but since this review was confusing I voted no and my no 'vote' didn't register???
Again, I thought I'd test this (again, I remind the reader here that I can't possibly qualify as Harriet's "fan" since I never vote on her reviews, other than for testing -- which is like once a year maybe). Well, I voted, and my vote did not show up. The Bozos Schield is up again? No wonder our dear Harriet bubbled up in rank up to No. 652 (a couple of months ago she was what? 705 or something?).

Btw, there's a delightfully indignant new poster who apparently has just discovered the Klausner scam: "The Butler". For example,
The Butler says:
Does this synopsis writer get paid by the word?
Yes, Butler, I bet she does! Now, how long till Amazon blows The Butler away for making critical comments about their poster-girl Harriet? Faites vos jeux... I say, by tomorrow morning everything he's posted will be obliterated by Amazon and he himself will be banned from the site. If past is any lesson, Amazon will not tolerate public discussion of their top con-artist Harriet Klausner whose lifetime average (since Nov 1999) is six reviews a day, near all of them five stars (a handful four stars, and never really anything less than that).
Bingo! The Butler's gone. 07/12/2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A man Harriet Klausner would understand and like

Who is that handsome chap? Ah but of course, everyone knows it's professor Figes, who has recently decided to wade into the murky waters of Amazon review writing with such effect.
... The future of one of Britain's leading historians was looking increasingly uncertain tonight after he admitted that he was the author of anonymous reviews that praised his own work as "fascinating" and "uplifting" while rubbishing that of his rivals. ...
Harriet and Professor Figes have a lot in common, maybe they should go on a date, what do you think, Dear Reader?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Amazon Discussion Board: Closed to the Public?

Have you noticed that the Amazon Discussion Board now seems to require logging in even in order to read it? It used to be widely open; you needed to log in only if you wanted to post something. Why such an interesting change? One can't help wondering is some of the action by the house shills there ("not a requirement" and the like) was determined too open for the general reader... Here's one example.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Re: The Harriet Klausner Mythos

Just bumped into an interesting post, The Harriet Klausner Mythos:
Booksquare suggests that Amazon reviewer Harriet Klausner (profiled in today’s Wall Street Journal by Joanne Kaufman) isn’t exactly a discovery of such stunning new finds as Tess Gerritsen, pointing out that Gerritsen’s career kick-started several years before.

However, I’m curious why the Wall Street Journal didn’t make an effort to verify Klausner’s extraordinary claims. Kaufman only describes Klausner’s voice as “more than a few dips of helium,” but makes no reference to the geography of her home or Ms. Klausner’s appearance. I’m wondering if Kaufman even spoke with Ms. Klausner in person. After all, if Klausner has read over 8,000 books and reviewed them in a mere five years [today, another five years on, it's 21,490: Harriet's Amazon "lifetime" average is about six (6) books a day], wouldn’t it be worth a trip to Atlanta to observe just how she does it?


Pete on March 30th, 2005 7:24 am

Maybe Kaufman is practicing Jayson Blair’s “reporting from Brooklyn” method.
Indeed! I always felt the same way, Pete. Add in here another manufacturer of Klausner hype, someone Lev Grossman (affiliated in some way with the Time magazine; please refer to the "See No Evil" section on this page for a link to his important article).

Btw, it's been a long time since we visited our dear friend former topreviewer John Matlock "Gunny", who, after a long hiatus after his degrading from topreviewers in what 2007 or thereabouts, apparently resurrected and started shitting five-star reviews again. This past February this semi-literate impostor plopped down 52 five-star reviews, which is about two (2) books a day; check it out. As to the rest of our old friends, W.Boudville seems to have slowed down with no other changes -- as before his stuff comes in small hunks of disjointed bull with his trademark four stars all over.

Friday, April 2, 2010


I'm sure you all get those solicitation e-mails from Amazon saying, "People who bought or rated books by..." also like books by...

In the last few months, I have started getting suggestions that have nothing to do with any books I've read or rated. I have not even heard of the authors or books they claim to be basing the recommendation on.

Anyone else notice a change? Until recently, the suggested books were based on books I'd purchased. Not anymore.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

OT: The Do It Yourself Scholar

Entirely off topic: Here's a nice blog The Do It Yourself Scholar . I perused it only superficially so far, but it looks like it's interesting. Check it out, you might like it.

PS. Oh yeah, and Harriet went to 696 for a few days; then descended to 698. Perhaps voting on her reviews is re-enabled? Has anyone tried lately ?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Special Dispensation has been effective

Just a few days back we blogged about Klausner's apparent immunity to votes -- and just look how well this has already worked: she was then 706 and now she's 703. The brilliant intervention worked: Harriet's precipitous fall in ranks stopped and even reversed. All publisher shills giving her thumbs up all the time, she'll be back to No.1 in no time now.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Yet Another Question About HK

Is Our Dear Harriett immune not only from Amazon rules (and general accountability) but also from the latest FTC requirement?? In short, the FTC recently announced that reviewers must clearly state that they're getting free review copies (in whatever form) from the publishers. It makes sense. The FTC wants readers of reviews to be able to differentiate "I bought this book with my hard-earned cash and now that it's too late for me, here's what I think," from "I got this book from a publisher and, man, am I glad I didn't lay out my own money for it or I'd be even more ticked."

I've been reviewing for years. I started at a website and then went off on my own and started my own blog. Publishers and authors send me review copies all the time. It's noted at the top of my blog, on the front page, that my copies are provided by publishers. What is actually says is "Books provided by publishers and authors." It also says "Fashions By Dicker & Dicker of Beverly Hills" so sue me for having a sense of humor.

Just a random sampling of HK's many reviews posted lately show NO SIGN of this disclaimer. I think it's obvious to anyone with a functioning brain stem that she's not paying to purchase every copy of every book ever published. They're being provided to her, for free. Which is fine. But why is she immune to this rule, too? Or is she? Is this what will finally trip her up and get her faux-reviews banished? Or at least marked as 'not a paying customer review' on Amazon?

PS, because lots of people ask... No publisher or publicist or marketing person has EVER, EVER asked for a 'good' review. They ask if I'd like to review something. The content of the review is totally up to me. I've reviewed a few real stinkers, and said so, while keeping in mind how my Mom taught me to be polite while still being clear. And I've reviewed a few great things. Most books fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Great, bad, indifferent, I've never heard a single word of complaint about what is, in the end, my personal opinion about any given book. (I did have one author flip out on me and threaten to blacklist me for a mediocre review. I just forwarded her emails to the publicist who was sending out her books. I never heard another word from the author, and I still get every new release of hers, in hardcover, which I never review. Because I am that petty.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Does Harriet Klausner have a special dispensation from Amazon?

cloudyskye says:
This is NOT a helpful review! I'm not a Harriet Klausner hater, but I think it rather weird that my "no" after the question "Was this review helpful to you?" does not register. When reading a review, I want to know WHY someone did or did not like a book, not a very superficial - if wordy - description which reads like the book's back cover.
Ronald Craig says:
(How can there be no votes on this thing when I KNOW I voted it unhelpful two days ago?)
Recently a few people complained (see example above) that their votes on Klausner shill-jobs do not show up. Now, we all know that in 2008 Amazon changed their vote registration mechanisms so that "campaign voting" no longer works -- a welcome development, as I have always said, invalidating the good works of guys like our dear Maestro, Grady Harp, who had a habit of giving himself 250-400 positive votes for every review within a day or two (or three) upon posting. The disabling of campaign voting also removed the possibility of retaliatory negging (which we've seen a million times: question some shill's funny record and the very next day your own reviews magically gain like 70 negs each... ). So that's good, and when reading about Harriet reviews appearing immune to votes, I thought, well, these guys, understandably, negged too many Klausner excretions, and now Amazon counts them as "campaign" voters and ignores their votes. Don't get me wrong: I think Klausner deserved all the negs she can get, but if her immunity is a byproduct of Amazon's new overall defense against the revolting mutual-vote rings by shills as well as campaign-vote thuggery, then be it.

But. Then it occurred to me that I'm assuming something here. So I says do myself, hey, try yourself (I would remind the dear reader here, hopefully redundantly, that I am *not* a habitual voter on Klausner reviews and cannot possibly be considered a "fan" of hers, positive or negative). Well, I voted on one random review and MY VOTE DID NOT APPEAR. I now hear more people who are definitely not habitual Klausner voters reporting the same experience. It appears that Harriet Klausner has become untouchable on Amazon. (?)

If true, is it because, having observed her precipitous fall from No.1 to No.706, Amazon decided they went too far with reader empowerment? And, to limit the damage, stopped vote collection on Klausner reviews so as to keep her from continuing in the same direction, straight to No. 5,999,999 or thereabouts ? Would it not be helpful if Amazon finally declared how their reviewing system actually works? Or would such a move be ill-advised, because of making the system's amazing shill-friendliness too obvious to a casual visitor? :-) No, really -- inquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

FTC warns of widespread data breach

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said Monday it has notified nearly 100 companies and organizations of data breaches involving personal information about customers or employees.

The FTC declined to identify the companies or organizations involved, but said they were both "private and public entities, including schools and local governments."

The companies and organizations ranged in size from "businesses with as few as eight employees to publicly held corporations employing tens of thousands," the FTC said in a statement [more]
(Just for your info, in case you missed it.)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Amazon Super Saver Shipping

I have a question perhaps someone here can answer.

In years past, I used to order quite a bit from Amazon and do it with free shipping. The stuff shipped quickly and arrived in a week, no more than two. Now, however, when I order and do free shipping, I get a "ship date estimate" that is two, three, four weeks into the future. It takes forever to get my order. My question: Does Amazon now put the free shipping orders at the very end of their "To Do" list?