Saturday, December 10, 2005

Love Smart: Get the Review You Want?

Look, it's no secret that authors have been known to mess around with the reader rankings on Amazon, trying to orchestrate (if not flat-out write) favorable reviews of their own books (as well as, sometimes, unfavorable reviews of competing works). But our friend "Dr. Phil" McGraw--or, let's be fair here, one of his more lunatic admirers--seems to have elevated the practice to new depths with McGraw's new book, Love Smart: Find the One You Want--Fix the One You Got. We may revisit this topic at greater length in days to come, and possibly in a more structured forum than this blog; suffice it to say certain "irregularities" have suggested themselves. For now, let's perform the following exercise.

Take a look at the five-star reader review from "Jane." As I write this, it is the very first review, dated December 10:

The goal of Love Smart is to help you get the relationship you want. It's driven by Dr. Phil's viewers who want a meaningful relationship, but find that it's a crazy dating world out there.

This book is different than anything Dr. Phil has written before. It has a hipper, irreverent approach, while still being based in psychology, but still reflects the talk-show host's direct approach to life. It coaches the dater through the process of finding out what the other person really cares about, what their priorities in life are, and what they do for fun.

It's biggest value is it takes you through the signs of what's a real deal-breaker, how to spot it early, and how to walk away so you don't waste time and get a broken heart. He stresses the importance of self-analysis, and says if you've got an attitude about you that you wouldn't find attractive in others, you have to consider someone else might not date you for that very same reason.

My favorite quote from the book, "You've got to fall in love with yourself. Not in a prideful way. But you have got to decide, 'These are good qualities about me.' Don't try to be all things to all people. Decide who you are and that is the horse we are going to ride all the way home."

Another book I enjoyed recently that helped me a great deal with self-awareness is "The Emotional Intelligence Quickbook." I saw it in Newsweek, and bought it because it let me test my emotional intelligence, or EQ, online. It was a fun read and helped me to learn A LOT about myself, so I think it's a great pairing with Dr. Phil's "Love Smart."
OK. Now, here's another five-star review from December 7, the day after the book's official pub date, posted by "true name" reviewer Sara Burnett. (It's still up, too, as I write this):
The goal of Love Smart is to help you get the relationship you want. It's driven by Dr. Phil's viewers who want a meaningful relationship, but find that it's a crazy dating world out there.

This book is different than anything Dr. Phil has written before. It has a hipper, irreverent approach, while still being based in psychology, but still reflects the talk-show host's direct approach to life. It coaches the dater through the process of finding out what the other person really cares about, what their priorities in life are, and what they do for fun.

It's biggest value is it takes you through the signs of what's a real deal-breaker, how to spot it early, and how to walk away so you don't waste time and get a broken heart. He stresses the importance of self-analysis, and says if you've got an attitude about you that you wouldn't find attractive in others, you have to consider someone else might not date you for that very same reason.

My favorite quote from the book, "You've got to fall in love with yourself. Not in a prideful way. But you have got to decide, 'These are good qualities about me.' Don't try to be all things to all people. Decide who you are and that is the horse we are going to ride all the way home."

Another book I enjoyed recently that helped me a great deal with self-awareness is "The Emotional Intelligence Quickbook." I saw it in Newsweek, and bought it because it let me test my emotional intelligence, or EQ, online. It was a fun read and helped me to learn A LOT about myself, so I think it's a great pairing with Dr. Phil's "Love Smart."
Notice any similarites? Like, right down to the use of the wrong "it's," in the third graph...?

Geez Louise! If you're gonna pull this kind of stuff, at least be a bit more creative!

Stay tuned...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. What an ass. I used to watch him and think he made pretty good sense, but the more I see of him, and hear about him, the more I realize it's all about the money.