A Tale of Two Reviews

Well, the reviews are slowly coming in, and naturally, like all writers, they make me a little nervous. What I discovered today, however, is quite interesting and I hope to share it with you.

As I checked on Amazon to see if anyone had reviewed my book I was met with this unhappy assessment of my writing:

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Naturally, it is an unfortunate experience to see that so many hours of hard work and effort have been summarily dismissed as “hacky” (not sure if that is a word). I am very sorry that Mr. Briscoe997 did not appreciate the book and discovered it laden with grammar and writing errors. I do admit, I did find a couple awkward passages that could have been written better, and I have to explain that the book was finalized a little more hastily than what I would have liked.

You see, the writing of this book needed to get done in an expeditious manner. In our work as Inbound Consultants we work with some rather large institutions, particularly in the banking and transportation sectors of Japan. At the time when we had begun our consultation with these large entities we were being, how can I say, “bad-mouthed” by seriously by a couple of “experts” on the Ohenro experience. These “experts” saw our work as threatening to their position and instead of doing something like calling me on the telephone to talk or finding ways to collaborate there was a rather ugly on-line campaign to smear us and our work. I hurried to get the book to publication to secure our local consulting work here. I am very relieved and glad to say that this effort was successful and we have been able to keep excellent relations and develop a deeper rapport with our clients.

To be honest, I do understand that people can feel threatened when their “territory” is being explored and promoted by others outside of their sphere of influence. I have to also be further honest here when I have always been very plain about the fact that I am no “expert” myself and am always keen to hear what true experts have to say.

The critic here, “Mr Briscoe977”, has a handle that I recognize from other Ohenro online activity, and is friendly with the local expert who has been on this smear campaign. I am sad to see him try to damage the reputation of the book. I am hoping that subsequent reviews will help balance it out a little.

And then, when I was about to psychically plunge head-long into despair that I had not met Mr. Briscoe977’s expectations, I found this on the Japanese Amazon site:

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A nice review by a Japanese reader who thinks my book is something that can be of value to people new to Shikoku. How nice. And full marks too!

So there you have it. One review by an angry disgruntled “I got here first” type of critic. And one review from a local Japanese person who feels I did some justice to introducing their culture, history, and heritage.

Maybe the true value of the book is some place in-between. I hope you can read for yourself and decide what you think.

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