The Art of Lavish and Fraudulent Praise at Amazon - Man Camp by Adrienne Brodeur

Why do I have to be so negative? Is it because there is so much to be negative about? ... As I was wallowing in my thrill over the Claire Messud reviews being rediscovered (see post below regarding Emperor's Children), I decided to check the reviews of another crappy book that haunts my past, Man Camp by Zoetrope's former editor, Adrienne Brodeur. The novel was a flop, and with good reason--one of the many last gasps for the juvenile genre of chick-lit. And btw, when is someone going to fire the twits in book marketing and turn control back over to a few intelligent editors? When? Anyway, this 2005 catastrophe of a novel, Man Camp, was introduced to the reading public with dozens of fraudulent Amazon reviews (biz as usual). Though old news, I just had to throw these in by way of illustration and because they so nicely complement the crapola reviews of Emperor's Children, one of the worst published novels of all time.

Okay, here we go. The following Amazon reviews of MAN CAMP were supposedly written by real people unconnected to the publishing business, but who nevertheless talk like blurb-programmed robots. It's funny to think the marketing types don't see this stuff as utterly transparent to anyone with a brain evolved past that of a lemur.
  • Women can't seem to live with men, but can't live without them, either. Why is that? Perhaps, biology is the answer. Men, unlike their counterparts in the animal kingdom, don't have a clue about how to court a woman.
  • Although this is a great summer read, it's more than that. Brodeur's characters are both entertaining and touching, and face many issues we all grapple with ...
  • Man-Camp is fun, witty and a great summer read. Title notwithstanding, the novel looks closely and fairly at both sides of the gender dating gap and comes up with some pretty amusing and accurate observations about both! The author's slyly crafted prose provided many laugh-out loud moments for me, as well as nods of recognition.
  • Anyone who is ever been on a date will enjoy Man Camp. This story takes all the aspects of dating - the gruesome, the funny, the beautiful - and rolls them into a smart, lively, witty novel that is so fun to read. Male or female, you'll have a hard time putting this down. Adrienne Brodeur is someone to watch!

Finally, one purported to be from a college student in San Diego:

  • As a second year college student, in the prime of her dating career, advice on the opposite sex is a valuable commodity. Adrienne Brodeur is brilliant. She weaves a tale so honest and REAL you'll find yourself laughing out loud at the blunders everyone can relate too.
Vs. reviews by real readers:

  • Kind of corny and predictable, but I've read worse ... One thing I could most certainly do without and that has NO place in this type of novel is the detailed and in depth desciptions of milking and inseminating a cow. That's better left to a non-fiction book titled "Milking and Inseminating a Cow" ...
  • As a woman, I'm a bit bothered by the whole idea of this silly sort of banality. I'm being generous with my two-star rating, because the idea is cute, however simplistic. Cute, however, is not the key to good writing or literary substance. The characters are "stock" and predicatable (see Kirkus Reviews for a similar opinion) and the writing is, at best, formulaic.

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