Five five-star reviews on Amazon
June 20, 2001 11:21 AM   Subscribe

Five five-star reviews on Amazon for G. Bruce Knecht’s The Proving Ground, about the tragic 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race. Of coarse it helps if you're a personal friend of Jeff Bezos. Does anyone seriously believe Jeff Bezos's review was honestly rated "18 out of 18 - helpful" by customers?
posted by swipe66 (19 comments total)
Good work Watson.
posted by Kino at 11:46 AM on June 20, 2001

Good work Watson.
posted by Kino at 11:46 AM on June 20, 2001

Damn.. that absynths strong.. now i'm seeing double. Only one thing for it Watson.. where's my crackpipe.
posted by Kino at 11:49 AM on June 20, 2001

swipe66: Does anyone seriously believe Jeff Bezos's review was honestly rated "18 out of 18 - helpful" by customers?

I do. people are blinded by fame. everyone wants to get close to a star. - rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 11:53 AM on June 20, 2001

Bezos is obviously not a writer himself: (my emphasis)

This book is about people -- an incredibly interesting assortment of determined, competitive people thrust into a circumstance more challenging and dangerous than any of them expected. Bruce Knecht captures acts of heroism and frailty, but, in a display of astonishing writerly discipline, he never judges these people. Judging these strong people would inevitably over-simplify the reality of human behavior under life-threatening stress. The way Knecht does it, as we read, we get to wonder how we would react.


"writerly discipline"?

It's frightening when the CEO of one of the world's largest booksellers thinks that objective portrayal of immoral characters is impressive. Of course, Bezos also thought "Life is Beautiful" was a "masterpiece" because it was "hysterically funny and simultaneously a tear jerker." I bet Bezos is the kind of guy who never read Lolita because he thinks pedophilia is immoral. sigh.
posted by tweebiscuit at 11:56 AM on June 20, 2001

Good point Rcb. My imaginary pie chart indicates that 80% of people are creeps, 10% like to be creeped to, and the other 10% have to work hard for that promotion.

Twee, it's a wonder Bezos even has time to read books - never mind write crappy ill thought out reviews of his friends ones.
posted by Kino at 12:06 PM on June 20, 2001

Anyone notice the cute little script-kiddie pranks in Jeff's buddy list: Peepeehead, Great Chutulhu, Muhahaha. Now that's funny.
posted by greensweater at 12:27 PM on June 20, 2001

I just rated Bezos' review "not helpful." I'll check back in 24 hours to see what happens (it takes that long for the rating to be included).
posted by jameschandler at 1:31 PM on June 20, 2001

Here's the problem with public reviews: people almost always rate something a 1 or a 5. Probably because if you feel strongly enough to take the time to rate something, you either absolutely loved it or hated it. You rarely see reviews like: "Decent." "Middle of the road." "A time passer."
posted by ColdChef at 1:43 PM on June 20, 2001

kind of off topic, but necessary to state, nonetheless...

twee -- the skills required to be CEO of "the world's largest bookseller" do not typically map to those required to write book reviews that pass your muster. bezos' job is to maximize value for his shareholders -- period. now, if the market (and by extension, amazon's shareholders) found value in his ability to not only run a multi-billion dollar corporation involved in at least a dozen different lines of business on three continents but also to write pithy book reviews, then by all means -- he should brush up on his expository writing skills.

but i hazard to guess that's not the case.
posted by msippey at 1:45 PM on June 20, 2001

Actually, I find it hard to believe that neither Jeff Bezos, nor any pf his friends have yet to buy him that nifty $15.00 Microsoft wheel mouse that he has on his Wish List yet!
posted by punkrockrat at 2:13 PM on June 20, 2001

Very logical and true Msippey, although i suspect with the 'worlds largest bookseller bit' Twee was merely drawing our attention to the fact that they consider it dangerous for the publishing industry in general that one of its central figures of power finds books highly impressive that contain 'objective portrayal of immoral characters' (i haven't read the book so i can't comment).
posted by Kino at 2:32 PM on June 20, 2001

Bezos has a wishlist ¿!?! Gotta see that.. The picture in my minds eye is a page containing just one item - Earth.
posted by Kino at 2:37 PM on June 20, 2001

Man what a top-notch miser!! Check out the average price of the stuff on his list and then scroll down to compare with the 'already purchased' section!
posted by Kino at 2:53 PM on June 20, 2001

No reviews posted at want to test out the suspicion?

(You can actually read an extract of the book itself from the Grauniad site, and make your own minds up.)
posted by holgate at 3:27 PM on June 20, 2001

After surfing around/monging out in the hypnotic Rubicon of Amazon (.com variety) i checked out Bezos' profile page thing and look what i found.. Under 'a recent review' it has the very same one we're discussing here - its score?.. '26 of 53 people found the following review helpful'... Magicpipe never fails me Watson. Wonder if MeFipower is responsible for the rapidly tumbling score or did people just stop creeping up his arse 48 hours ago?
posted by Kino at 3:38 PM on June 20, 2001

I am unimpressed (I really liked it, but this thread's not about me) by Bezos' review of The 13th Warrior. "[T]his endless stream of uninteresting battle scenes with pointless dialogue and no discernable plot is perhaps one of the worst movies ever made."

He must not have seen many movies. And if he were a third grader, and this was his book report, I'd give him an F, just because I could.
posted by dfowler at 6:45 AM on June 21, 2001

Add the letters 'uckwit' to the F and it sounds about poyfhaykt.
posted by Kino at 8:31 AM on June 21, 2001

Current score 27 out of 60.. and filtered through to the actual book page too now. I don't use Amazon so don't know how long votes take to effect each area - just know they aren't all in sync - so i presume it's this threads existence that made it so.

'GroOoOoOovy gravy' said the snail, just because it could. ____ __ __ @%
posted by Kino at 9:20 PM on June 23, 2001

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