Saturday, October 07, 2006

Things that make you go hmm

It seems that fans of Elena Maria Vidal's Trianon, a novel about Marie Antoinette, have begun a negative campaign against Sena Jeter Naslund's Abundance. Check out the Amazon reviews of both, note the ratings and reviewer names (as well as the number of titles they've reviewed) and see what you think.

I own copies of both, but haven't read either, and find it odd that a novel published in 2000 by a small Catholic press should begin receiving multiple 5-star reviews only this summer.

It's not only Abundance that these folks are trashing, either - other novels about Marie Antoinette and Versailles have received the same treatment.

One of the downsides of the Amazon "review" process...


  1. Anonymous10:19 PM

    It does look a bit fishy, doesn't it? I just posted a copy of my blog review of Abundance on Amazon--I thought it was pretty good, on the whole.

  2. That's why I never care about the 5 and 1 star reviews, the only ones I read are the 3 star ones because some of these actually give a reason for their ranking beyond 'this iz teh best book evah' and 'this sux soo bad'.

  3. It is a nice and very helpful review you posted. The cynic in me wonders when the backlash will start (and it looks like it already has) - any positive reviews are very quickly named "unhelpful."

    The level of interactivity they provide is a bit much for my taste. Now you can comment on the reviews, and comment on the comments.

  4. Anonymous8:00 PM

    Oh yes, I've already garnered several "unhelpful" votes, as has everyone else who's left a favorable review.

    I wonder if the fans realize how counterproductive this is? I for one was somewhat interested in reading the Vidal book before and might have bought a copy. Now I'm inclined to pass.

  5. Sarah:

    What, you don't want to comment on the comments of the comments on Amazon? {snort}

  6. Scary - I think I probably already have, in my comment above! Yikes

    This is getting WAY too confusing...

  7. Anonymous7:07 AM

    It is a shame that this has happened. ABUNDANCE is a lovely novel and seems to be selling well in spite of the negativity. I am glad. People should not even compare ABUNDANCE with TRIANON, since they each have a very different approach to telling Marie-Antoinette's story. TRIANON is very short, intense, and focuses on brief interludes in the lives of the royal family. It really deals with how they each must face death and loss. ABUNDANCE is more of an epic view of the queen's entire life, and has a lot more information in it. But as I was saying privately to Sarah, people are all wound up about Marie-Antoinette right now because of the upcoming Coppola film, and even obscure novels like mine have received attention that they never received before. There are high emotions on many of the history and movie discussion boards. Hopefully, it will all dissipate soon.

    Thanks to Sarah for such a wonderful and very helpful blog for those interested is serious historical fiction.