I posted a review of this book on Amazon, and today received the following response to it:
What a very poor review. More than OK not to like or rate a book but to so willfully misunderstand huge sections and use such misunderstanding as justification is indolent. So to be specific:
1. Memphis and York - it's an alternative reality - the Memphis the author is referring to may well be a reference to ancient Egypt; the familiar juxtaposed with the unfamiliar may just be an absurdist trick but the aim is to create recognition and confusion not to impose geographic reality. So reckon you did miss this one.
2. Screenplay - just wondering how you write a book without this lazy criticism being applied - and if the author does want a film deal then is this a crime. Is a screenplay any less worthy than a novel. Kind of needs to be judged on it's merits not it's purpose.
3. Women - the whole point of this passage is that it is grotesque - even in the semi-feudal society which the narrative takes place in this is not taken to be right - equally the question about tenderness is an obvious one and the book then goes on to describe dealing with bad tempered men - which is again a exaggeration to show how warped the entire situation is.
4. Smoking - another huge miss - there is a passage earlier on extolling the pleasures of smoking; by this characters brother. Like I said this is just lazy reviewing.
There are many things you could have criticised quite legitimately in this book; but the examples you chose are poor.
He's given reasons as to why he thinks my review is poor, which is appreciated, rather than just saying he hates it. I'm willing to accept my stance on the book in question is suspect because I disliked it a great deal. However, I am also of the belief that the points raised were factors that I found abhorrent, and that other people might read them entirely differently.
So, my question to reviewers (and, I guess, authors) is how do you respond to criticism? Do you shrug it off and just think that the person didn't understand what you were saying? Do you take it on board and think that they might have a point?
All opinions welcome!