My Review of Verland: The Transformation

My review of Verland: The Transformation is now up in the review section.  I enjoyed the book quite a bit and gave it four stars.  One thing I did not mention in my review that troubles me about Verland is the over-the-top reviews you’ll find on Amazon.  It’s as if the author had every friend she has write the most glowing reviews possible.  Seriously, check it out.  You would think the book was the new Great Gatsby or Ulysses.  It’s unfortunate.  I think Verland can stand on its own without any trouble, and I think that most people will see those reviews and think they are being sold a bill of goods.  But hey, maybe it’s just me.  In any event, Verland is a good book and I recommend you check it out.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “My Review of Verland: The Transformation

  1. Let me explain something here. I’m one of those people who left a glowing review. I read the book LONG before I ever spoke one word to the author. Most of those reviews came from people who were NOT friends of the author at the time. The friendship came from the great book. I’m a student of literature NOT a fan of horror. I find most horror cheap, violent, and crap. My glowing review came as someone who yes has actually read James Joyce. So spare me on the bill of goods. The novel got those reviews because it’s great literature…

  2. Let me make something clear about those “over the top” reviews you claim came from friends. I’m one of them. I posted that review before I ever said one word to the author. Those reviews did NOT, in fact, come from friends! They came from people who know and understand great Gothic literature. It might be the trend in “indie” to pump your friends, but Scully needs none of that. I hate horror. I’m a student of literature and yes, I’ve actually read Joyce. Verland: The Transformation is a brilliant Gothic piece of literature. It makes sense that horror fans wouldn’t quite pick up on that…

  3. Was quite surprised to stumble across this in one of my obsessive daily google searches…and probably should move on without comment, but oh, the Internet compulsions that drive us! So, author of said Verland here to weigh in: 1) I don’t ask friends to write reviews for my books because I don’t actually have many friends! In fact, I am a semi-recluse whose big event most weeks is going grocery shopping, and if I were to rely on my friends to support my writing, I would quickly starve. 2) through far, far too many hours spent on social networking sites, I have become friends with several readers who responded very powerfully to the novel’s themes—it tackles biggies like death, loss, alienation, and I think some of the so-called “over-the-top” responses are a result of that—however, the friendships developed because of the book, and I can assure you that just as many people who told me on Twitter or Facebook that they were reading Verland discreetly never mentioned it again…! I don’t cringe at all when readers leave amazing reviews, and it’s important to remember that most Amazon reviews are from readers and are not meant to replicate or replace professional review sites; I would hope that anyone interested in buying my book would in fact look around a little at sites like Kirkus and Clarion for further insight. Anyway, thank you for your review (and review of my reviews)…I hope it convinces a few readers to give Verland a look, my cupboards are getting a little bare…

  4. I had hoped to put this situation into some humorous perspective the first time around, but it seems to have gotten rather hydra-headed since my last visit, so here goes Part II:

    1. I, B.E. Scully, hereby swear under threat of Internet flaming that I have not/do not/will not pay/coerce/threaten/hypnotize readers into writing reviews for my book. In fact, despite the suspicious X-File namesake, I don’t even KNOW The Smoking Man! I myself have written so-called “over the top” reviews for books that have galvanized/amazed/absorbed me—in fact, for me that is the entire point of literature, and anyone who would find that suspicious or suspect is a very different reader than I am—and, quite frankly, not the kind I’m particularly concerned with in regard to attempting to “out” me on an Internet thread (the spirit of George Orwell is out there somewhere just laughing right now…!).
    2. The reviewer that you’re accusing of “backlash” is fairly well-known in the indie community for both his particular taste in horror literature and his lack of hesitancy in handing out harsh reviews. Maybe I’m missing something here, but whether or not he penned his review in a vengeful Verland rage or did, in fact, sincerely dislike like your book should have no bearing on someone’s opinion of my book one way or the other. But then again, I confess to not spending much time in the real world, so…
    3. As I am not particularly fond of the concept of “reining in” other people’s thoughts and opinions, I’m going to have to trust that as thinking adults we can tolerate differences of opinion and a little bit of controversy now and then without destroying careers. After all, if we were completely rational, well-balanced people, we wouldn’t be reading/writing literature that keeps most sensible folks awake at night.
    4. Last but certainly not least, I am quite taken aback by the suggestion that the members of a professional organization like the H.W.A. would base their voting decisions upon the promo habits and disagreeable opinions of someone associated with my book rather than the quality of the work. Perhaps I’m an idealist, but I’m going to give the voting H.W.A. members a bit more credit and commitment to quality writing than that.

    In this tricky navigation of the online networking waters, I do my very best to support my fellow authors, promo (somewhat) rationally, have a little fun, and write the best work that I possibly can. I think (hope) that is enough for any writer’s career, and if not, I’ll still be here anyway, writing.

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