I can just hear the ‘Boo’s!’ and ‘Hisses!’ from the spectator stands at the Book World Tournament. However, as cheeky as Ellory’s pillory of Stuart MacBride’s, ‘Dark Blood’ is; the taking down of one’s competition with a poison-pen review is hardly new to the world of publishing. In fact, some authors do not even bother with pseudonyms and all that ‘fuss’.
Take the case of John L. Manhold. Manhold is a ‘Top Reviewer’ for Amazon books. His August 2011 review of ‘Jenkins: Confederate Blockade Runner’ is the topic of my response to the Ellory versus MacBride story. An ‘award winning fiction/and non-fiction author’ is how Manhold signed off on a 2-star review of this debut novel (which had been high marks up to the point of Manhold’s review – a point he adroitly brings up).
Since I am the author of ‘Jenkins: Confederate Blockade Runner’ I was intrigued when I first noted Manhold’s scathing and detailed review of my historical fiction. Okay, first I was hurt, and then I was intrigued. The 2-star critique of my book was lengthy, went into great detail on the perceived faults of the book’s content. For instance, Manhold found fault with the fact that I had included women’s fashion notes in a book that was advertised as a Civil War ‘action’ novel, et cetera.
Being criticized openly by an ‘award winning’ author left me wondering about the writing style and product quality of an author such as Mr. Manhold who touts his award-winning status while punching authors in the nose. What I learned a year ago was interesting.
Mr. Manhold not only writes, but he writes historical fiction. ‘Jenkins:
So, I am not surprised by the Ellory versus MacBride duel. Cross-
And, some times it’s quite the opposite – a 5-star for a publishing colleague. It’s done. Just check the book review list of John L. Manhold.