Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Targeting Rivals by Fraud and Lies: Brodhead, Delbanco, RJ Ellory

"The writer, whose real name is Roger Jon Ellory, admitted he had used fake identities to write about his own work and giving himself five–star ratings while simultaneously criticising his rivals.
He was compelled to apologise after Jeremy Duns, a British spy author now based in Sweden, aired the accusations on Twitter last week.
Duns, 38, MacBride, 43, and Billingham, 51, all said today that they accepted Ellory’s apology and said they were “moving on”.
In their public letter, the bestselling writers, who have collectively sold millions of copies between them, warned that fake book reviews were rife on the internet.
Condemning the "abuse" on websites such as Amazon, they also warned readers to be aware of the "fraudulent" practices of some writers, arguing that the widespread use of "fake identities" was causing untold damage to publishing."

I am mulling the new scandal over for the second day and see very little difference about posting hostile sock puppet reviews about your rivals on Amazon and making false accusations in the New York TIMES BOOK REVIEW or the NEW REPUBLIC. Richard H. Brodhead and Andrew Delbanco, meet RJ Ellory. It seems to me, on reflection, that the damage is much worse when reviewers lie in major mainstream media organs than when a novelist touts himself and attacks others under false names on Amazon. Who is to doubt a dean at Yale and a chaired professor at Columbia University when they proclaim that I merely surmised the existence of THE ISLE OF THE CROSS and POEMS, lost books by Herman Melville? Yet all scholars had known about THE ISLE OF CROSS since 1960, although I found the title only in 1987. And all scholars had known about POEMS since 1922. Established "scholars" (really, critics) can get away with lies even when they sign their names to reviews. They have greater power for evil than RJ Ellory, it seems to me, and they have abused that power. Neither of them has confessed or explained. At least RJ is "sorry."


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