21st December : The One Day Blog Hop

it is 21st December...
     Midwinter...
          and the day of... The Blog Hop!

image designed by www.avalongraphics

Celebrating The Winter Solstice 
December 21st 2013 - longest night
(unless you are in the southern hemisphere, in which case, it will be longest day!)

31 fabulous authors are lined up with a host of different articles on their blogs – so read on below, and when you are finished ‘hop’ to the next blog, where I hope you will enjoy another good read –  then ‘hop’ to the next blog…. and so on.


Here's my contribution...

I thought I would write about an issue which often darkens a writer’s confidence. The matter of the Bad Review. (Don’t worry, this isn’t a rant against those bah-humbug people who insist on rubbishing good books.)

No author minds constructive criticism. If something is genuinely amiss, that is. In fact we also don’t mind (too much) if someone puts a comment on Amazon or Goodreads et al which goes something like: “this book wasn’t quite my sort of thing,.” Fair enough, we don’t all share the same tastes.

But there really are some dark-minded “reviewers” out there!

General opinion is that it is not a good idea to respond to a bad comment. It often results in attracting in the trolls, and leads to tears before bedtime, with someone chucking all their teddies out the cot or stomping round with an aggrieved pout. It is better to remain silent and dignified. But that can be hard sometimes… so I thought I would take a light-hearted look at a few of the darker reviews by making up some tongue-in-cheek responses - the sort of thing that most of us would love to post as a reply.

The reviews below are selected at random entirely from 1* star comments  – no names or titles involved, unless the book is a classic.


#1 “This historical book was so boring. It had no plot or story. I stopped reading it.”
Reply : Well, no. It is non-fiction.

#2 “I chose this rating because there is not one lower. i reported yesterday that this package did not contain the book I ordered; It did not in fact contain any book at all. The package was empty. You have not had the decency to reply, so I can only assume that Amazon are content to take my money under false pretenses. I believe I have been a good customer over the years and I feel that I am being treated very shabbily.”
Reply : You therefore decide to treat the author of this novel shabbily in return? Thanks a bunch mate!

#3 “The most dis-connected and rambling rubbish I have ever read. Finally managed to read all 7 books in the series and after 2 books became quite annoyed at the authors inability to connect the dots. Rubbish
Reply : But you still managed to read all seven books?

#4 “My father's novel with the same title (author’s name added here) was published in 1962. It was so much superior in style and content as to render the appropriation of the title by a recent author an impertinence.”
Reply : What a superb way of doing some marketing! Buy a book, rate it 1 star and advertise a different book! If it wasn’t for the impertinence I’d maybe adopt this idea myself.

#5 “I bought this book but didn’t have time to read it.”
Reply : I read your comment but didn’t buy your excuse for leaving a 1 star comment…. 
(why comment if you didn’t read it?)



#6 “It was confusing and weird beyond words, I bet if Yoda read this book he could decipher it, or better yet if Yoda wrote a book I would understand it better than this....... I couldn't really understand the plot, but hey I got an A…”
Reply : This review was about one of Shakespeare’s plays … and the reviewer got an A…?????

#7 “I should not be rating this. I have not read this book, I will not read this book, I, alone, utterly condemn this book as well as its author. Nor do I, have I ever, or will ever drive a car. I am unlicensed."
Reply : Bit of a head scratcher this one. Something tells me this person has a grudge against the author – ah I see! Maybe the author accused him or her of stealing a car… or something.

#8 “The themes and some of the events in this book were good but the way it was written made the book unenjoyable for me. I found that the way the book was written made it this way for others as well. I don’t think this is just a coincidence. If the book was written differently I probably would have found it enjoyable.”
Reply : Yes, but if it was written differently it would be a different book wouldn’t it?

#9  “I bought this book, and was disappointed to find that it doesn't contain any pics! Now I'm not sure it actually happened.”
Reply : the book is the Bible dear, not sure pics would help you here.

#10 “This book isn’t as good as Harry Potter in MY opinion.”
Reply : Comparing Orwell’s 1984 with Harry Potter…. Words fail.




#11 “The only good thing to say about this drivel is that the person responsible has been dead for quite some time now. Let us pray to God she stays that way.”
Reply : I expect that can be arranged.

#12 “This book is like an ungrateful girlfriend. You do your best to understand her and get nothing back in return.”
Reply : I guess you’ve not met the right girl yet.

#13 “All in all its revolting. To make it even worse i was eating a Tika Masala while reading some of the graphic parts , rest assured it came back up in a hurry. The author appears to be a vicious man hater and this worries me more than Gaddafi ever did.”
Reply : moral of the story – don’t read at the dinner table.

#14 “I didn’t think much of this book. It was all about dead people. “
Reply : you usually find that this is the case with historical fiction.

#15 I’ve left this comment until last – it is a hoot!   The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe -

“I bought these books to have something nice to read to my grandkids. I had to stop, however, because the books are nothing more than advertisements for “Turkish Delight,” a candy popular in the U.K. The whole point of buying books for my grandkids was to give them a break from advertising, and here (throughout) are ads for this “Turkish Delight”! 
How much money is this Mr. Lewis getting from the Cadbury’s chocolate company anyway? This man must be laughing all the way to the bank.”
Reply : but I like Turkish delight…. :-/

Hope you had a giggle!


you are more than welcome to leave a comment below
(good, bad, indifferent or funny)

(see all my books at www.helenhollick.net)




 now onward to the next Blog….
  1. Helen Hollick : A little light relief concerning those dark reviews!
  2. Prue Batten : Casting Light....
  3. Alison Morton  : Shedding light on the Roman dusk 
  4. Anna Belfrage  : Let there be light!
  5. Beth Elliott : Steering by the Stars. Stratford Canning in Constantinople, 1810/12
  6. Melanie Spiller : Lux Aeterna, the chant of eternal light
  7. Janet Reedman   The Winter Solstice Monuments
  8. Petrea Burchard  : Darkness - how did people of the past cope with the dark?
  9. Richard Denning The Darkest Years of the Dark Ages: what do we really know?
  10. Pauline Barclay  : Shedding Light on a Traditional Pie
  11. David Ebsworth : Propaganda in the Spanish Civil War
  12. David Pilling  :  Greek Fire -  Plus a Giveaway Prize!
  13. Debbie Young : Fear of the Dark
  14. Derek Birks  : Lies, Damned Lies and … Chronicles
  15. Mark Patton : Casting Light on Saturnalia
  16. Tim Hodkinson : Soltice@Newgrange
  17. Wendy Percival  : Ancestors in the Spotlight
  18. Judy Ridgley : Santa and his elves  Plus a Giveaway Prize
  19. Suzanne McLeod  : The Dark of the Moon
  20. Katherine Bone   : Admiral Nelson, A Light in Dark Times
  21. Christina Courtenay : The Darkest Night of the Year
  22. Edward James  : The secret life of Christopher Columbus; Which Way to Paradise?
  23. Janis Pegrum Smith  : Into The Light - A Short Story
  24. Julian Stockwin  : Ghost Ships
  25. Manda Scott : Dark into Light - Mithras, and the older gods
  26. Pat Bracewell Anglo-Saxon Art: Splendor in the Dark
  27. Lucienne Boyce : We will have a fire - 18th Century protests against enclosure
  28. Nicole Evelina What Lurks Beneath Glastonbury Abbey? 
  29. Sky Purington  :  How the Celts Cast Light on Current American Christmas Traditions
  30. Stuart MacAllister (Sir Read A Lot) : The Darkness of Depression
Thank you for visiting my blog - wishing you light and laughter for the Winter Solstice!






competition winners: everyone leaving a comment was entered into a prize draw for one of my books: I decided to offer TWO books though and the winners were
Marsha Lambert and Manda Scott.

43 comments:

  1. LOL. some good ones there Helen. I got one recently on one of my books that I had for a while put on as free on Google E-books. Now I have no control over how Google e-books works. So I was annoyed by this: "What d f**k is dis. Hey how to downlaod dis book. I dnt have d credit or debit card .is fer a solution to dis prblm?" That is unedited by the way - exactly how it was written. So I am getting a one star review not on the basis of the book BUT because this illiterate cant work out how to download something that is free.

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    1. I suppose some people don't realise how this sort of things affects an author....at least potential readers will ignore such a comment. We hope! Bright Blessings for the Solstice Richard!

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  2. Happy Winter Solstice, Helen, and thanks for brightening it up for us all by organising this fabulous blog hop. I can see what I'm going to spend the day doing....

    As to your first post, kicking the whole thing off, what a great selection of 1* reviews there! I'm sure there could be a great book written made up entirely of reviews. But no, hang on, some of these you really couldn't make up! Enjoy the rest of the solstice - from now on, the days will be getting longer and lighter, hurrah!

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    1. some comments left on Amazon are unbelievable - it does make you wonder if there are people out there writing them just for a wind-up! Bright Blessings for the Solstice Debbie

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  3. Happy Holidays. Our son gave me a Kindle for my 80th some months back and have been going wild, both on Gutenberg.org (I'm cheap) and on Amazon, (I've got over 300 books on it now, wonder if I'll get to read them all?) we've purchased from Amazon for a long time and I always go to the negative comments first for humor relief. Some are so darn ludicrous. I never make a decision to purchase based on a small number of reviews unless I'm either familiar with the author or subject. I belong to a SciFi club where most are authors (not I) and sometimes criticisms dig real deep but at least they are not deliberately mean. Gordon Levine (shows you how much of a computer whiz...didn't even know how to get my name in).

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    1. Thank you for leaving a comment Gordon - lovely to meet you here. I love my Kindle because I have a sight problem and I can't always manage the print in 'real' books. Don't forget to look for my books on Amazon Kindle :-) (shameless plug!)

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  4. These are a hoot, Helen. I have my favorites! Thanks for organizing this wonderful blog hop. I've been reading some of the posts and they are terrific. I suspect I'll be reading all day tomorrow, too! (Please don't take them down yet! I'm eight hours behind you Brits!)

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  5. Hey Helen. Happy Winter Solstice. Thanks for organising all this and a wonderful post, too. Wish I'd written a funny one now!!

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    1. Bright Blessings for the Solstice to you too Dave - I decided on a funny post because I couldn't think what else to write - everyone else on the Hop had chosen all the interesting things I was planning on doing! LOL

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  6. Priceless! What else can you say?

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    1. LOL - Bright Blessings for the Solstice to you Pauline!

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  7. Priceless, Helen! A great way to start any day with a smile. And a good antedote for 1* review-itis.

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    1. Maybe the best way to handle bad reviews is with a sense of humour. Not aways easy of course, some are downright rude! Bright Blessings for the Solstice!

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  8. I screamed with laughter about the Turkish Delight!
    My most amusing 'bad review' said I was 'trying too hard' to mimic a certain author popular in my genre...the amusing thing is that the author I was supposedly trying to emulate is someone whose work I personally cannot bear! The last person I would try to emulate!

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    1. I think whenever I come across a bad review for my books in future I will remember the Turkish Delight one - and smile! Sort of puts things back into proportion doesn't it? LOL

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  9. Thanks for giving me a good laugh this morning! Love the pics as well :-) Happy Winter Solstice! xx

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    1. I had a giggle writing it! Hope you're enjoying the Hop !

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  10. Very very funny. Mind you, I always said Shakespeare was a flash-in-the-pan writer – his work won’t last. Yoda now. There’s a writer to watch. Thanks for this Helen and for organising this fab blog hop!

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  11. Ha ha! I really enjoyed this. "I bought this book but didn't have time to read it." ??? Lol! So glad I do not have this review. I don't know if I could keep still about it.

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    1. I think "Turkish Delight" will have to be the writer's mantra from now on! I can't believe that people actually bother putting up reviews when they haven't even read the book! *shakes head*

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  12. As I switched my rickety computer onto the Solstice blog hop, there was a gleam of sunshine :-) and that was followed by a few laughs at the comments you've shared with us. I like Turkish delight as well, so there, Mr Grumpy grandpa. How not to read a story, eh? But a big thank you, Helen, for organising it.This is a most enjoyable Hop - so much variety.

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    1. thanks Beth - I think we'll all be laughing about Turkish Delight for some while! LOL

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  13. Helen, this is too funny! Definitely tweeting this. Thanks for giving me a little clue as to what I have to look forward to once my books are published. At least now, I know how to look at them with a fun attitude! What a great way to start off the blog hop.

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    1. thank you Nicole - I'm sure there are some even funnier comments, I'm quite looking forward to finding them!

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    2. This would be a great place to share the worst review comments ever. :)

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  14. It's a bit like looking for the silver lining, isn't it? Crap review, but maybe there's a nugget of humour in it. Loved the one with the "never have driven a car". maybe he/she hasn't driven a car because he/she can't read, thereby not pass the test. Would also explain why he/she hasn't read the book....Great post!

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    1. Doing this has definitely made me realise that it will be best to look on the funny side of poor reviews!

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  15. Can't stop laughing. Seriously. Great post, Helen! :)

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    1. I don't think I'll ever be able to eat Turkish Delight again without laughing

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  16. So glad I took time out to read this. Really funny - unless it ever happens to me - eeek!

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    1. but even if it does happen to you - you'll now know to laugh it off!

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  17. Brilliant, Helen. I especially enjoying no.10. Pshaw! I say. Happy Solstice and a thousand thanks for making this blog hop so enjoyable for both participants and readers.

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    1. Thank you Alison - Bright Blessings back to you threefold!

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  18. Fab, Helen!!! :) Thank you for doing the blog hop! Any chance to win one of your books makes me a happy, happy lady! :D Happy holidays to you and your lovely family.

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    1. thanks Marsha - your name is in the hat for the draw!

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  19. Very funny and scarily true, unfortunately one can't pick one's readers. Brilliant Blog Hop today. Bright Blessings to you this Solstice Day :)

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    1. Thanks Janis - I'm glad everyone enjoyed the Hop!

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  20. All those people in history books - dead! Who knew?
    What a great way to start a day. Thank you SO much for the marvellously funny blog and for the chance to blog-hop.
    Caroline Praed

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    1. I know - came as a bit of a shock to me too! LOL

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  21. What a fabulous idea this Blog Hop is! I'm enjoying it very much; thank you!

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    1. Thank you - some of the posts are brilliant aren't they!

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