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'And if you need to fill your bank account, write a book loaded with empty thoughts...'

UPDATE, Tuesday, Aug. 24. Now that my take (scroll down) on Rhonda Byrne's The Pow-errrrr has indeed made it to "spotlight" status, there is apparently a massive counterattack underway from the other side. In just the past few hours, my review has accumulated at least 10 "not helpful" votes. Wonder how long I'll be able to "hang"....

And let me add that this isn't some sly effort on my part to "sell a few more copies of SHAM," as some have alleged. My being dour about The Pow-errrrr, as it were, is not going to sell many (if any) copies of my evidenced by the fact that at this writing, SHAM lolls at No. 529,411, down markedly in the past few days despite my sudden visibility on Rhonda's high-traffic page. I feel safe in proposing that there's virtually zero overlap between her target market and my own.


y, Aug. 23. I've never done this, folks, and I really don't believe in it philosophically. But I just want to see if we can shame Amazon into being honest in its policy on reviews...or, alternatively, get them to reveal their agenda and/or susceptibility to the PR heavy-hitters who engineer the roll-outs for major books like Rhonda's latest. So, I'm asking readers of this blog to check out my review of Rhonda's new book, The Pow-errrrr, and if you agree with what I say, give it a thumbs-up. Right now I've got 29 "helpful" votes (out of 47 total), which I'd think would already be enough to earn me a slot among the spotlight reviews. Amazon sees it differently. Let's see if we can force their hand?


UPDATE, Saturday morning, 8:15 a.m.
: Re one contributor's question about Amazon and its policies: As I write this on Saturday morning the three so-called "spotlight reviews" for The Pow-errrrr are all 5-star gush factories by (a) obvious New Age fanatics or (b) outright Byrne shills/partisans. Even though these reviews are bracketed as "most helpful," they boast only four votes total, and the middle review, so far as I can determine, has not yet received a single vote yea or nay.

Meanwhile, the 1-star review from yours truly, which has received 13 votes, 9 of them positive, lolls in obscurity on the sidebar.


generation's very own Jean-Jacques Rousseau, otherwise known as Rhonda Byrne, philosophizing on the unique symbiotic relationship between love and money in her new bestseller, The Pow-errrrr:

"Love is the attracting force that brings money, and love is also the power that makes money stick. You have to give love and feel good about money to bring it to you and make it stick. If you lack money, and your credit card debt is increasing, you have no sticking power and you are repelling money."
How's that again? I find it hilarious that nowadays you can write things that don't make a damn bit of sense by any commo
nly accepted standards of meaning and/or logic, yet those very things will be cited by some of the folks who propel your book to its lofty Byrne's case, No. 5 on Amazon this morning. (One such folk: reviewer Connor Dejesus, whose 5-star plug currently sits atop Byrne's "most helpful" list.) The cynic in me also can't help noticing the way Byrne is pandering to her largely female audience with this ostensible connection between love and money. (Doesn't the above passage sound oh-so-Oprah-esque?) Much like the demonically staring Suze Orman, Byrne seems to feel (with some justification, at least based on the observable landscape of the marketplace) that you can't talk to women about money for too long in terms of, uh, money, but must broaden and "romanticize" the subject in order for your advice to resonate (except that in Orman's case, she has some actual financial know-how to share. I'm not her biggest fan, as readers of SHAM know, but if America is going to take financial lessons from just one prophet, and that prophet has to be either (a) Suze Orman or (b) Rhonda Byrne, the lesser of the two evils is clear).

Among other things, Byrne also observes that if you want new clothes, just hang a bunch of empty hangers in your closet. Apparently the ever-obedient Universe will notice its glaring oversight and move to remedy the situation. Of course, if she wants new clothes in her closet, all she has to do is slap together a book like The Pow-errrrr.

Here, by the way, is a very nice (meaning not-so-nice) review of Byrne's book from my new best friends at ABC News.

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