It seems that, ever since the New York Times article about buying reviews was published, the one which revealed indie bestseller John Locke had bought reviews, the floodgates have opened.
Every day a new writer with an, as Sir Humphrey Appleby might have said, 'a creative interpretation of the facts,' is brought to light. What is perhaps most notable about the latest dramatic revelation is that it doesn't involve an indie author. This comes from The Telegraph:
Orlando Figes, the award-winning historian, has admitted writing derogatory reviews about his fellow writers' work.Apparently Dr. Figes even "threatened to sue a fellow historian for libel when his name was linked to the online reviews."
But not only did Dr. Figes rubbish the work of his colleagues, he heaped praise on his own:
The reviewer [Figes] meanwhile described The Whisperers, Prof Figes's latest book, in more positive terms.You can read the article here: Award-winning historian Orlando Figes: I posted anonymous reviews on Amazon. Thanks to the Passive Voice Blog for posting a link to this article.
"Beautifully written ... leaves the reader awed, humbled yet uplifted ... a gift to us all," he said.
A spokesman from Birkbeck College said of Prof Figes: "He's on sick leave and we're offering our support."
I must admit I'm stunned by the apparent ubiquity of the problem; I'm guessing this could be the tip of a very big iceberg.
Other articles you might like:
- Book Promotion: Where's The Line?
- John Locke Paid For Book Reviews
- 8 Ways To Become A Better Writer
Photo credit: A miniature painting of the Baum des Todes und des Lebens (The Tree of Death and Life), by Bertold Furtmeyer for the Missal of Archbishop Bernard von Rohr of Salzburg, a handmade miniature manuscirpt commissioned by him around 1481 and now in the Museum of the Bavarian State Library (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek), Munich, Germany.