Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jacqueline Howett and the Dirtiest Review in Amazon History

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2011 at 5:31 PM

click to enlarge jacqueline_howett_the_greek_seaman.jpg

Self-published novelist Jacqueline Howett is best known for writing one two-word sentence: "Fuck off!" She expectorated this at the end of March in a comment thread following an online review of her perfectly titled self-published novel, The Greek Seaman.

As much of the Internet has enjoyed learning, the critic -- Big Al of Big Al's Books and Pals -- had the temerity to point out Howett's tendency to commit sentence-level atrocities like "Don and Katy watched hypnotically Gino place more coffees out at another table with supreme balance."

Howett then took to the Internet to defend herself, a cause that resulted in several more sentence-level atrocities. When commenters pointed out that she seemed petty and clueless, she lashed out with the first of two "Fuck off"s. The effects were quick: an anti-Howett dogpile in the comment thread, sneering reports on blog after blog, and a flurry of one-star reviews of The Greek Seaman on Amazon, mostly from people who clearly haven't read the book.

Still, one of those reviews is a masterpiece of dirty snark.

Consider the work of Dunning Kruger, who as of yet has written no other reviews.

click to enlarge amazon.com_dunning_kruger_s_review_of_the_greek_seaman_1306890528148.jpg

This stands right up there with the best of bullshit online reviews: the Topeka Abortionplex on Yelp, Amazon's dark exegeses of Bill Keane's Family Circus works, the Amazon reviews of that absurd steering-wheel desk, and even lesser-known entries in the genre, like this heart-rending account of life with a Tempurpedic.

The Greek Seaman now has 86 one-star reviews out of 106 total. I can't help but wonder: Is this much hating commensurate with her crime? As long as we have racist pricktards commenting on any news story about immigration or urban crime, saying "Fuck off!" to a reviewer (even a good one, like Big Al!) is hardly the worst thing put online any day.

In fact, it's a lot more sensible and controlled than Howett's own eventual apology over all this.

Hey, you could do worse than following @studiesincrap and the Exhibitionist blog at @ExhibitionistSF on the Twitter thing.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Alan Scherstuhl


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"