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Amazon Rejected a Review of My Novella (I Think)

A few days ago I received the following review of my novella. The review was sent anonymously—or, I should say, homonymously—to my personal email. I cannot confirm or deny the sender’s identity (my brief search, circular in nature, proved fruitless); nor, as far as I can tell, has the review been accepted by Amazon or any other hypothetical sales channels.

The review is not a good one (despite its ostensible five stars). Why I share it here, I am not sure. Sometimes, I suppose, compulsion trumps compunction. I present it as I received it (the redactions were included in the source text).


—Erik Harper Klass



Review Title: This Guy Has My Name!


My Uncle Lou’s friend Frisco’s friend Winkler told Frisco who told my Uncle Lou about the amazing fact that someone with my exact name (!) wrote a book called Polish Pots [sic] in Beds with Girls and Other True Stories. (Yes, like in a game of telephone, they got the title wrong.) Maybe I’d like to read it, wondered aloud my Uncle Lou. Sure, whatever, said me. Who hasn’t had a fantasy or two about polishing kitchenware (i.e., pots) in beds with members of the opposite sex?


But when I got the book from Amazon (the website, not the forest) and saw that the title was actually about Polish poets, I lost a fair amount of steam on the whole endeavor. I don’t really care about Poland, wherever that is, or poetry, which is for girls, and I don’t like to read.


But, lest we forget: the author and I have the SAME EXACT NAME! So doubleyou-tee-eff, thought I—let’s read a few pages. What could be the harm?


And but oh, what harm!


First of all, the book has a [expletive deleted] preface, something that I figured went out of fashion a long time ago. Strike one. And this preface is filled with words I’ve never heard or even seen before, words like (this is a partial list, in order of occurrence): pre-prefatory, prefatorily, orthography, raison d’être, prolix, discursive, tumescent, abstruse, allusive, intertextual, interregnum, ichthyologist, enamorment, metafictionality, typographic, fundament, praxis, etc. And that’s just the preface! I should also mention that most of my favorite words were not to be found, words like: purple, hamster, French horn, brunch, skivvies, stamp collection, NASA, fundament, etc.


Wait, fundament was in there. Credit where credit’s due.


Anyway, because I’m one of those guys who doesn’t really know when to stop myself when I find myself doing something completely and utterly and spectacularly stupid, I snowballed on. And post-prefatorily (as this author, so-called, might put it), things only got worse. To wit: there’s just an awful lot of foreplay and [expletive deleted] and nudity and stuff like that in this book. Bare [expletive deleted] and [expletive deleted], etc., you name it. It made me very uncomfortable and squirmy. Here I was, just an innocent, slightly prudy guy, getting ready to read this book written by somebody with MY EXACT NAME (!)—it was a Sunday afternoon, if I recall, all birdsong and sunshine—and, without any warning at all, I was met with all of these poets in beds with girls, usually naked. Hopefully that governor what’s-his-name in Florida and his friends will get a hold of this book before our children do!


Strike two, strike three, whatever, I forget where I was.


And did I mention, the book is full of footnotes? AND endnotes? I am speechless.


I could keep going (speechlessness notwithstanding), but in the interest of keeping this review short (longer is not always better, ladies!), let’s get to my rating. Obviously if I could give it 0 stars, I would. But I don’t see that option, so I guess I’ll give it 1 star. But then, with my finger poised over my mouse button, cursor hovering over the 1, something weird happened. I started to feel really sorry for Erik Harper Klass (not me, the other one). I did some googling (the website, not the number, which is spelled differently anyway), and this guy seems sort of sad. Lonely, maybe. Not very successful (this book is like #1,000,000,000 on Amazon’s book rankings). Obviously a sh*% writer. So yeah, I felt bad for him. And, perhaps I should remind you, we have the SAME [EXPLETIVE DELETED] NAME! Let’s give the guy a break, right?


So I did, I gave the poor sucker a fiver. Call it charity.


—Erik Harper Klass


Erik Harper Klass is the founder of Submitit, the WORLD’S FIRST full-service submissions and editing company. He has published stories and essays in a variety of journals, including New England Review, Yemassee (Cola Literary Review), Blood Orange Review, Slippery Elm, Summerset Review, and many others, and he has been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes. He has published a novella from Buttonhook Press.

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154 views3 comments


Dear Erik, I'm sorry you were the target of this trolling idiocy.


Consider yourself lucky that this moronic person didn't like your book. Also consider a name change 😂


Totally written by AI to my eye.

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