November 11, 2011

Amazon author sues reviewer


The Telegraph reports that a man from England’s West Midlands is being sued by the self-published author of The Attempted Murder of God: Hidden Science You Really Need to Know. I know, right? With a title like that, who’d’ve thunk the author might be a little highly strung? Writer Chris McGrath has taken exception to unfavourable reviews written by 28-year-old Vaughan Jones — reviews that, unfortunately, can no longer be read online. From the looks of the other product reviews on Amazon, though, McGrath might be footing rather a lot of legal bills if this is the way he chooses to fight his battles. A selection:

Complete garbage written by a moronic hack: 1*

Perhaps worth a look if you’re interested in a laugh at the expense of morons peddling and buying into this nonsense. I’d offer a refined critique of what’s wrong with this book, but frankly what’s the point? It’s all nonsense, it’d be like trying to form a serious rebuttal of evidence for someone that believes in fairies. It’s just relentless rubbish from cover to cover.


Internet undressing: 1*

Here is a man who writes, publishes then reviews his own book. Having downloaded the first two chapters, I found it pretty unreadable with fatally flawed science.


Scooby Do… esn’t: 5*

Read the first two chapters online of this and immediately thought that I would bulk buy a shipload and send them as joke Xmas presents. How anybody can waste their time and energy trying to decipher any of the meaningless crud contained within the said written dirge is well beyond me.
I give this a five star rating for any person that can understand any of the waffle contained between the front and back cover deserves the Victoria Cross, let alone five stars!

Astonishingly, Richard Dawkins (whose foundation hosted works by Vaughan on its website) and Amazon are also being pursued in the case. It’s hard (in fact, without the text of the original reviews, impossible) to see quite how a negative review can become a legal battle, and the hearing over the next few days will be a very interesting lesson in the judiciary’s treatment of disproportionate reactions and hissy fits. I mean, really, shouldn’t someone have told McGrath? If someone doesn’t like your work you don’t sue them, you harbour an eight-year grudge and then air it in a major newspaper. Duh.

Ellie Robins is an editor at Melville House. Previously, she was managing editor of Hesperus Press.