Apparently some people are a tad upset with Harriet Klausner's reviews on Amazon. They've decided that instead of just, oh, clicking the "not helpful" button on the page, they're going to dissect her reviews and parse her sentences. (Here's an example.)
I suppose if you think there's not a real person behind those reviews, it's a lot easier to be snarky. Or maybe they just don't care. Which is a sad statement on their outlook in life, and I sincerely hope I never meet any of them in person, because really, are there no better things to do with one's time? Like, maybe, read a book?
Anyhoodle, about Harriet. She is a real person. I know this because I've talked to her. Once, many years ago, when I was just starting out and my kids were small and the call waiting beep went off and I, trying to be a Professional Writer, ignored it and it turned out to be my child's school calling to say she wasn't feeling well and wanted to come home and was anybody there? Oh, did I feel terrible about that, and ever after, even if I was talking to my editor in NY, if the call waiting went off and my kids weren't home? I excused myself and took the call.
Now, granted this was a phone call, and it could have been somebody pretending to be Harriet Klausner, but somehow, I doubt that. There was no Amazon then, for one thing.
As for Harriet's reviews, apparently she may have had a stroke. I hope that's just a rumor, although it would explain something about her reviews I've noticed over the past couple of years.
How does she read so many books? Does she actually read them cover to cover? All I can say about that is that I understood she was a "speed reader." To be honest, this is likely not the best thing you want in a reviewer. I think reading too quickly means that the reviewer will miss the things, or make errors, which is certainly one of the beefs people have against her. But as far as I know, she does read every book.
And here's the thing about her reviews when it comes to my books: my readers don't seem particularly keen to post reviews of my books on Amazon. My books are selling, so somebody's reading them; they're just not the people who then go to Amazon and review the books. So many times, the only review of my book on Amazon will be Harriet's. Now, if she's gotten a story detail wrong (like the year, say), that makes me want to smack my head on the computer. But overall, because she does take the time to post a review at all, I'm grateful.
Like her, love her, hate her or think she's way too generous with her assessments, she is a real person, and I don't think deserving of the level of vitriol being hurled her way. If you don't like her reviews, don't read them. If you think they're so much garbage, hit the "not helpful" button. Then go read a book, and post your own (no doubt perceptive, astonishingly well-written) review.