The Arithmetic of Reviews

I read my Amazon reviews peeping anxiously through my fingers, which is a dumb thing to do. I could just not read them but that, as any writer will tell you, is easier said than adhered to. You know they’re out there, lying in wait.

A bad review is like someone tipping a bucket of icy water over you. Furthermore, a bad review is not cancelled out by a good one. The arithmetic of reviews is, it takes about five complimentary ones to ease the pain of a stinker. It’s human nature. We write to entertain. We certainly don’t do it for the money.

Occasionally I’m asked to review someone else’s work and my rule is, if I can’t say something nice, I won’t say anything at all. Books are a matter of taste. There is no gold standard and there are people who think even War & Peace might have benefited from a good edit.

All this is leading to the admission that I dared to look on Amazon this morning and found I already had some 5 star reviews. I’m going to put them in the bank, against the day someone gives me no stars and a Bronx cheer. Thank you very much indeed, reviewers, whoever you are.




  1. Claudia on October 27, 2020 at 11:04 am

    I am one of them and I would have given it more stars if they had let me! A great great read. Just wish I hadn’t finished it!

  2. Angela O'Keeffe on October 30, 2020 at 6:21 am

    Dr Dan has landed in my Kindle. Happy days! That’s the weekend sorted. Thanks Laurie

  3. Linda F on October 31, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Great work again! Loved it.

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