How Not To Respond To A Bad Review

This post by John Dugdale originally appeared on The Guardian on 9/5/14.

Stephan J Harper’s litany of angry comments about a critic is a textbook demonstration of the reasons why wounded writers should keep shtum

If it’s not the craziest response ever by a novelist to a negative review, it’s almost certainly the longest, most obsessive and most ridiculous. When Michael E Cohen reviewed an interactive ebook called Venice Under Glass on the Apple-related site, he can’t have expected that underneath it would eventually appear more than 50 responses from a single commenter: the book’s author, Stephan J Harper.

Seemingly unembarrassed by the incongruity of mounting a vehement defence of a detective story in which all the characters are teddy bears, Harper initially penned a series of comments (many of them over a single night between 1am and 4am) in which he quoted passages from the book, hoping to persuade Cohen that his criticisms of its “workmanlike” prose or “juvenile” plot were unjustified.


Click here to read the full post on The Guardian.