There’s a small story behind this that a lot of authors know about, but, to your shock and dismay (yes I’m being snarky) the mainstream media has ignored. That is Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine’s book review debacle. It is, in my opinion, a scandal well worth noting and I’m happy to break the story.
Hillary and Tim (aw, who are we kidding, some kids on their staff) wrote Stronger Together. What they were clearly targeting was the same kick that President Obama got from his book, The Audacity of Hope. What they hadn’t counted on was the change in the political climate. People out there are angry, frustrated, deplorable, and, as it turns out, pretty damned funny. In that kind of environment, releasing a book like this was a risky decision – one I am glad they made.
People bought the book and posted reviews…hilarious (pun intended) reviews. Brutal, vicious, biting, twisted, funny reviews. Here’s a sample:
“I was going to read this book … I really was. But just as I got started, I found myself under sniper fire, passed out, and fell and hit my head. After that I got double vision and had to wear glasses that were so damn thick I couldn’t even see to read. As if that wasn’t enough, I then had an allergic reaction to something and started coughing so hard I spit out what looked like a couple of lizard’s eyeballs, my limbs locked up, and I passed out and fell down again, waking up only to find out I had been diagnosed with pneumonia 2 days earlier. Somehow I managed to power through it all, but it’s a good thing I was able to make a small fortune on this random small trade in the commodities market (cattle futures or some such thing) and then, miracle of all miracles, a few banks offered me a few million to just talk to their employees for a few minutes – and all that really helped out because I swear I was dead broke and couldn’t figure out how I was gonna come up with the 6 bucks to pay for this book, let alone pay the $1,500 for my health insurance this month. I still want to read it, but, honestly, what difference at this point does it make? I hear it sucks anyway.”
Thousands of these kinds of reviews are posted for this book. I read them during my whopping 10 minute lunch, amazed that the late night talk shows or TV news channels hadn’t latched onto reading them…then again, that didn’t fit their political agenda. When you give a frustrated people a public place to vent, they take advantage of it.
The real story, and you will see it in some of the posts (there are hundreds of pages of them) is that Amazon.com deleted hundreds of the reviews. This is amazing. As an author, I can’t get a review deleted from a legitimate purchase if my life counted on it. Even stupid ones like, “I have this one star because I downloaded the wrong book,” sticks because that was Amazon’s “policy.” But, in the dark of night, (probably on Bezo’s private server), they deleted the more vicious reviews by the hundreds. Yes, I know there’s some real irony in doing mass digital deletions of reviews of Hillary’s book but apparently Amazon didn’t see that. Worse, they thought that the trolls of the net would simply let that pass. Silly Amazon…
Those of us that are authors were pissed off (regardless of our political party) – and rightfully so. If anything it was another log on the growing bonfire of how business and the media were being far from impartial. Amazon caught a lot of flak, which they rightfully deserved, and restored many of the reviews. Still, the damage was done.
I haven’t read the book – and won’t. I’m not going to post a review about it because I would be expressing my personal agenda and that’s my own business. I do encourage all of you to read the reviews and chuckle. Make sure you scroll down and click “See all XXXX reviews” to broaden your entertainment options.
I know some Clinton supporter is bound to get a twisted thong out of all of this. I’m not raking her book or her policies. I’m simply offering some lighthearted fun compliments of the internet. You’re fu*king welcome.
With this election season, we could all use a good laugh! Please share this link with your friends!