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In reply to an earlier post on 26 Mar 2012 02:44:55 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Mar 2012 02:49:31 BDT
Another one intended as a response to a previous posting, so for clarity, this responds to posting by Bluestocking:
In fairness, this is not limited to US reviewers. There are so many "reviews" posted on both sides of the Atlantic which are not reviews at all, they're either complaints about price, feedback on the sellers, or just plain "I don't like this band/author/genre". They're all annoying, but whilst the first two are self-explanatory, the latter needs a little amplification - it is very annoying as the thing we most want to know is how it rates against its peers - ie against others by the same band/author or within the same genre, we will decide for ourselves whether that band/author/genre is one that we enjoy or not.

Posted on 1 Apr 2012 05:12:49 BDT
D.E. McCourt says:
I like the option of reading the U.S. reviews, as well as the U.K. reviews especially in books.

Posted on 1 Apr 2012 13:27:25 BDT
I find them useful and have been guided by them several times. To those that have said the reviews are not for the same product, there is a contact button on the listing, contact Amazon and tell them. I did so for 2 DVDs that had similar names (The Nativity and Nativity!) before Christmas - I had a reply from Amazon within 24 hours and when I checked, it had been corrected. I would think that some of the linking is automated and some is done manually by someone who perhaps hasn't spotted the difference, just human error. I work on the principal that if you don't tell them, they don't know. With the thousands of products they sell, it is hardly surprising that errors occur. Once you tell them, it is up to them to correct it, but it is in their interest, as they will have to deal with the cost of returns if someone buys an item thinking it is something else.

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 18:51:02 BDT
C. Harry says:
I find these really helpful, although the person who mentioned amazon putting biased reviews on to sell product is onto something - I don't want that...

Posted on 15 Apr 2012 08:51:07 BDT
T Dan says:
The Reluctant Mercenary Ruben verdonk, I'm doing ok, although it took about 15yrs to get over the massive guilt complex that hit me following my return to "normal" life. Thanks for the review, it has given me heart to write again.

Posted on 18 Apr 2012 10:49:50 BDT
Adding US reviews definitely is a winner. Great addition thanks!

Posted on 20 Apr 2012 13:33:58 BDT
J says:
It's good

Posted on 20 Apr 2012 20:09:41 BDT
Very helpful. There's nothing worse than going to a book page and finding no book description or reviews. I end up searching the book in the US Amazon to learn about it.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Apr 2012 09:24:57 BDT
E. Popescu says:
Actually you could flip between the US and UK websites by replacing just the bit with .com.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2012 06:11:29 BDT
Khusro says:
One would have thought that all long as Amazon makes a clear distinction between the UK and US reviews, we are adding value and getting the American perspective without losing the identity of the UK reviews.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2012 06:15:57 BDT
Khusro says:
Good points: Firstly about the abundance of stars and secondly about Amazon's commercial priorities. But one would have thought that as long as a clear distinction is made between the UK and US reviews, there would some gain and value added. Not everyone in the US is starry eyed, and some in the UK on the other hand may see stars where there ought to be none.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2012 06:18:43 BDT
Khusro says:
I am not so certain about Americans being "trendsetters". What might be this "trend", and just who are they setting it? Please do enlighten us

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2012 06:20:05 BDT
Khusro says:
Combining the two without identifying the national source is a very BAD idea. Don't even think about it, I would say.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Apr 2012 01:08:50 BDT
Khusro - agree that the origin of the review needs to be indicated. It does sometimes help to know quite literally 'where people are coming from'. I've read excellent,helpful reviews from both sides of the pond as well as others which have been totally misleading. Some American reviewers tend to ramble on at great length - concision can be a virtue - but on balance the wider the range of views, the better wherever they originate


In reply to an earlier post on 23 Apr 2012 22:44:22 BDT
Swami Sez says:
Writing from Southern California/USA.....To US, Cherio means little round oat breakfast you all, it means "pip pip--must be going"...check out some great ENGLISH humor (US and UK) ----check out my latest humor and parody book, "O'REILLYISMS: 100% Pure Bill! (No Spin!!)." You'll laugh your aahhhhss off :-).

Posted on 24 Apr 2012 01:08:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 Apr 2012 01:11:42 BDT
Might a "Yank" put in a word? I review classical CD's primarily, and so can only speak meaningfully about that. First, I enjoy British reviews just as much as American ones, even though we are "separated by a common language." It seems that certain kinds of releases get more coverage on the UK site, especially art song and chamber music that aren't "bread and butter" repertoire. I'd be willing to bet that most of the votes I've gotten on my reviews of the chamber music of Jongen and Cras are from British voters. Most Americans are still discovering the Beethoven string quartets in MULTIPLE recordings!

I wish AMAZON would offer the option to see UK reviews from the American site. Definitely agree that the national origin of reviews should be identified--it IS useful to know "where someone is coming from."

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Apr 2012 13:32:53 BDT
Dace - I think all reviews need to be interpreted - a disrecommendation from a reviewer of known opinions could be positive and vice versa.If you're looking at crime fiction a poor review is one which includes major plot spoilers - the worst example I've seen(not on Amazon)gave away a key development on the penultimate page of a 500 page novel. Slight lack of judgement ? I don't follow your area of music but most of the jazz/blues reviews on Amazon US and UK are thorough and helpful - but above all honest ! Even if your prose may not be as polished as a professional critic you are much more likely to tell it as you see/hear it when you've handed over some of your hard earned pennies for the product ...


In reply to an earlier post on 24 Apr 2012 19:00:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 Apr 2012 19:09:11 BDT
Dear M. L.
Very good points! Of course you are right about the reader interpreting reviews for himself. I used to read "High Fidelity" magazine, and could always count on Harris Goldsmith's reccomendations because our tastes were so greatly similar--not so with Eric Salzman. Honesty in reviewing is certainly an issue, but there's a way to be honest without being ugly, as I'm sure you'd agree.

On an unrelated subject, I often wonder about the credibility of the "Vine Voice" reviewers who are handed copies of whatever they are reviewing for free. Under those circumstances, one might feel compelled to deliver a "command performance" favorable review. I am certainly NOT saying this is always the case, and I hope I haven't stepped on any toes!

I was sometimes in this awkward position myself when I wrote reviews of the initial releases of the "Centaur" label for "Figaro" magazine in New Orleans. The producers were personal friends, and I tried to be fair but also objective. If I could not have written an honestly favorable review, I think I would have returned the LP's with a polite remark to that effect. Luckily, their product was excellent.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Apr 2012 08:20:29 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Apr 2012 08:21:34 BDT
But aren't all reviewers given gratis copies of the books to review? Many think authors receive free review copies to give out, but in the publishing game, nothing is free. I sent copies of my book 'A Wistful Eye - The Tragedy of a Titanic Shipwright' by DJ Kelly, to around 30 reviewers who had agreed to accept it. It was most disappointing that several of them didn't get around to publishing their reviews - for a number of reasons,: no longer working for that journal, too busy at the moment, normally sub contract to other reviewers and the book got lost in the post, etc. Happily, all those professionals who did review it gave it glowing reviews, but the waiting can drive a near-starving author to despair. I also heard of an educator who was in the unenviable position of selecting children for entry to a prestigious school and, when his book came out, a number of aggrieved parents who had not bought or read the book took their revenge by giving him toxic reviews on Amazon. Hopefully though, purchasers will read between the lines, read the author's 'blurb' and decide for themselves whether this is the book for them.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Apr 2012 14:24:25 BDT
Amazon Regular/Dace - I'd say that most Amazon reviews not identified as Vine Voice are written by people who have bought (or perhaps borrowed) the product themselves. However I've identified a few cases where friends of a particular author have written a favourable review not to mention others where the criticisms were either petty or odd - didn't like the name of a particular character or the way they were described for instance ...There's often a sharp divide between professional reviews and those on Amazon - the latter sometimes take against books which depart from the 'usual' style they associate with that author. I hope your Titanic book does well and gets reviewed on the likes of Encyclopedia Titanica. Re Vine Voice - at least it's a declared interest ! My own taste in New Orleans music is headed by the very late but brilliant pianist James Booker ..Getting slightly off-track with 'U. S, reviews' - but the more the merrier, wherever they come from !


Posted on 25 Apr 2012 15:49:38 BDT
Love New Orleans music, tho I don't have any recordings, but also got into Stefan Grapelli & Django Rheinhart & 'Swing' following a lovely trip around California (with Steinbeck in my hand) a while back. Now the US reviews of their recordings did certainly inspire me to buy the CDs. The Historical Novel Society - members on both sides of the Atlantic - seem to provide most erudite reviews.

Posted on 28 Apr 2012 23:04:44 BDT
Dizzy Daisy says:
I'm definitely finding these useful. Perhaps not as highly valued as UK reviews, but extremely useful compared to having no reviews.

Posted on 29 Apr 2012 21:18:57 BDT
52fitz says:
Very useful to see reviews from on .uk. If I'm seriously considering buying something, I always check what people are saying on .com anyway.

Posted on 30 Apr 2012 22:37:08 BDT
J. Eaton says:
Great Idea! I really enjoyed the first American review I read about the Marty Robbins/Ernest Tubb DVD which I am interested in- this review alone has pursuaded me- many thanks Amazon!

Posted on 4 May 2012 18:09:23 BDT
Any source of 'real user' comments is to be welcomed for the most part I would say, and given the sheer number of products Amazon list there are many times when I'm looking at something and there are no 'local' reviewers, as happened just now, so I really do appreciate this extra source of information.
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