44 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5 stars, really...?,
This review is from: The Gay Divorcee (Paperback)
I am left more than a little suspicious of the numerous 5 stars this title has received. My book group have just finished it and without exception everyone thought it was a pedestrian, clichéd, shallow piece of poorly written fiction. We could not believe it has had so many great reviews until one member of our book group suggested we have a look at the `see all my other reviews' of those giving it 5 stars. To no one's surprise we discovered that the vast majority of those reviewers have never reviewed anything before - Burston's book is the only one. We then checked the author's Facebook site and discovered him thanking all his friends for posting reviews.
The book is like his characters, shallow and with little merit. It is not suffice to simply state book after book that the gay scene is awash with hedonistic, drug-taking, permissive people, surely even Burston is getting bored writing this by now. It is like stating there are more minorities in prisons and not asking why or there are more teenage pregnancies in Britain than the rest of Europe without asking why.
This book is less a triumph of satire and prose and more a triumph of Facebook marketing. Don't be fooled by the 5 star plaudits on here. My advice from now on is to check reviewers other reviews. If you see too many by people who have only reviewed that book, you can bet there is an author thanking his friends on Facebook for their reviews.
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Initial post: 30 Aug 2010 21:41:49 BDT
idiot proof idiot says:
I absolutely could not agree more. I have read other books by Paul Burston and quite enjoyed them, therefore was looking forward to this as a bit of lightweight holiday reading. But it is badly written and terribly plotted - for example, why mention a friend of one of the characters "Caroline" in a convoluted and gratuitous way when it contributes zero to the plot? I was so angry when I finished this book that I left it in my hotel bedroom. Don't be fooled by the positive reviews - definitely a fishy flavour to it all.
Posted on 16 Feb 2011 10:28:50 GMT
Sarah Durston says:
I've written many reviews for Amazon and really enjoyed this book. I thought the refreshing thing about it was that it wasn't full of cliches; it was quite nice to see a range of gay chracters rather than a bunch of perma-tanned clubbers with no emotional depth.
It's somewhat arrogant to assume that because you dislike a book that nobody else can be expected to like it either.
Posted on 14 Mar 2012 11:36:23 GMT
Just because at the time I had not reviewed other books does not mean my, or others opinions are any less valid, and your little book group is certainly not the be all and end all, or can be taken as a reliable poll of the wider audience. Have you ever thought that his 'friends' on Facebook could also include his fans and other readers? I think it is only normal for an author to request that anyone who reads his books would be kind enough to leave feedback on Amazon, just as, for example, a hotelier asking for a testimonial to go in his guestbook. It's surprises me little as P.Burston has time to correspond with his readers they'll return the favour in posting comments.
Speaking of little merit, your suspiciousness comes across as nothing more than bitter, ill-founded gossip...
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