Oh holy sweet Jesus. It seems that Anne Rice is at it again. Yes folks, I’m talking about She-who-cannot-tolerate-a-bad-review.
You’ll all remember when Ms Rice had her very public Amazon meltdown a couple of years ago over negative reviews of her latest book? Well, this week she has chosen not only to attack a reviewer, but to rally her minions to do the same.
Not classy. Not classy at all.
So, what kicked it off?
Well, seems that a blogger called Kayleigh Herbertson picked up a battered copy of Rice’s 1998 novel ‘Pandora’ in a charity shop to use as part of a craft project. After buying it, she read it before cutting it up, and posted her review on it on her blog, here: http://articulateandintricate.com/2013/04/25/punishing-pandora-anne-rice/
Now, there’s nothing in this review that is particularly unpleasant or attacking, just opinions from someone who didn’t like a book and said why. Which is fair enough. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
What happened next, however, is not good.
Firstly, Anne Rice herself got involved. Yeah, this is my surprised face too. 0__0
She posted on her Facebook page about it: https://www.facebook.com/annericefanpage/posts/10151644690285452
Now, before I say anything else, Herberston cites herself as a small time blogger with few followers, so I do have to wonder how much time Anne Rice spends Googling herself to find these sort of posts?
No matter how it was found, the blogger in question surely did not deserve the subsequent attack that followed.
Aside from the posts on Rice’s facebook page from Anne Rice herself, which included catty comments about how the author must be pleased with the folk directed to her bog, quoting from Herbertson’s online bio – presumably to incite ridicule, because I can see no other reason to do so –
As a result of Rice’s post, Herbertson has had to endure many hundred of posts attacking her. Some of them called her names, psycho and Nazi among them, some suggested that she ‘clearly’ needed sharp objects taken away from her, others took exception to the fact that the book was being used for a craft project – which is apparently some kind of heinous crime (personally I have cut up and taken apart several books as craft projects, and my reasons for doing so stems from the love of books, nothing else) others yet attacked the reviewer for not being ‘articulate’ or ‘educated’ enough to leave a review.
And so, so many other comments from rabid fans along the lines of ‘she shouldn’t have read the books out of order’ ‘she doesn’t UNDERSTAND the context’ ‘she clearly has issues with imagination’ how she ‘doesn’t understand the intricate nature of these books’ ( which beggars the question – if the reader doesn’t understand, then who does?), several said the review lacked ‘substance’ – seriously, it’s a review, not a critique – learn the difference people. Oh, and of course, there are the inevitable comments about how Herbertson is a former Goth and is so only looking at it from a’Goth point of view’ (whatever the fuck that is) and how she is clearly ‘jealous’ – yep, was wondering how long it would take for that comment to raise it’s head. As a point of interest, it took about 100 or so comments for someone to raise the ‘jealous’ card – https://www.facebook.com/annericefanpage/posts/10151644690285452#
Rice, meanwhile, went on the ‘I don’t know why people don’t understand my characters, they must be misunderstanding’ route with ‘You know, I have noticed that my beloved Pandora is sometimes not received the same way my male characters are. This is not the first time I’ve seen a reader offended by Pandora’s strength and confidence.’ (I’ve read Pandora, Anne, and it’s nothing to be proud of) and the rather ironic ‘Of course they’re entitled to their opinion. And I’m entitled to mine. This review is going into the permanent record. It’s an artifact of the power of the internet. What’s the harm is opening a discussion here on it? The woman’s being heard. She ought to be pleased, if she even cares at all.’ – given Rice’s response to previous negative reviews and her own subsequent public meltdown, I really don’t think she has a leg to stand on with this comment.
In all, I’m pretty horrified that an author would encourage such behaviour, and I’m saddened that ‘fans’ would stoop so low as to attack strangers over their opinions of a book.
The whole issue of using a book as a craft project is minimal – I mean, there are many book lovers, myself included, who have cut up, torn apart or otherwise used a book in a project. That does not make us bad people – what’s the alternative? that book gets so worn that it gets trashed? as opposed to it getting recycled into a much loved piece of art?
All in all, I think this whole situation is ridiculous, and any author who sets their fans on a reviewer like this really should be ashamed of themselves.
As a side note, in my whole life I have only ever left two books unfinished. Pandora was one of them.