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ChefCarey

Chef on Fire Raked Over the Coals

by ChefCarey » Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:44 am

Actually, it's not quite that bad. I logged onto Amazon this morning and found a brand user review of my latest book. The interesting thing about the review (other than its length) is the fact that he objected to many of the same things I did in the finished product. Fortunately, they were things for which I was not not responsible. :) Robin and I discussed a couple of them. It's the first review at the top. He's obviously not a relative. :)

Link to Amazon.com review

Edited by Robin to hide window-stretching URL
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Chef on Fire Raked Over the Coals

by Mike Filigenzi » Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:57 am

Wow - now that's a review! I agree with him on the index. I somewhat disagree regarding the photos. I felt like I really got my money's worth with Chef on Fire because it was loaded up with recipes, techniques, and other info rather than pictures. But I guess he has a point regarding selling people on them.

From the sounds of things, getting 4 stars from this guy is actually quite an accomplishment.

Mike
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Re: Chef on Fire Raked Over the Coals

by ChefCarey » Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:00 am

Mike Filigenzi (Sacto) wrote:Wow - now that's a review! I agree with him on the index. I somewhat disagree regarding the photos. I felt like I really got my money's worth with Chef on Fire because it was loaded up with recipes, techniques, and other info rather than pictures. But I guess he has a point regarding selling people on them.

From the sounds of things, getting 4 stars from this guy is actually quite an accomplishment.

Mike


Thanks, Mike. I think we *all* agree on the index. It was never even passed by me.
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Bob Ross

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Re: Chef on Fire Raked Over the Coals

by Bob Ross » Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:31 am

Oh, come on Chef -- this is a fantastic review; he concludes: "My praise is overall solid for this book, my criticisms few and really mild, in perspective. Overall, I take off one star, and give 4 stars for a cook-friendly book I recommend buying, with lots of practical advice."

His nits are quite well taken, and his engineering background shines through. He reviews everything from backup generators to kitchen mitts, with a number of well written, well considered reviews of cook books.

The puff reviews are nice, but this is a review that will sell your book -- you should be very well pleased.

One reader's opinion -- I give his review five stars. [Your book too, for that matter.]


Regards, Bob
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Re: Chef on Fire Raked Over the Coals

by ChefCarey » Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:45 am

Bob Ross wrote:Oh, come on Chef -- this is a fantastic review; he concludes: "My praise is overall solid for this book, my criticisms few and really mild, in perspective. Overall, I take off one star, and give 4 stars for a cook-friendly book I recommend buying, with lots of practical advice."

His nits are quite well taken, and his engineering background shines through. He reviews everything from backup generators to kitchen mitts, with a number of well written, well considered reviews of cook books.

The puff reviews are nice, but this is a review that will sell your book -- you should be very well pleased.

One reader's opinion -- I give his review five stars.


Regards, Bob


While I agree that, ultimately, it is his version of a positive review, I don't know how many Amazonians will actually read a review that long. I'd swear I surely mention Panko somewhere in the book. :) I know I've discussed them here.
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Re: Chef on Fire Raked Over the Coals

by Bob Ross » Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:49 am

As a book review reader, I always prefer the long reviews -- the London Times reviews, the Atlantic and the New York Review of Books reviews are outstanding, so I'm biased.

But look at how people who rank the reviews respond: 4 of 4 found the long review helpful; one or two of four or five people found the short reviews helpful.

I haven't done a systematic study of Amazon reviews, but in general the longer reviews have a much higher "helpful" score than the shorter reviews.

In any event, Chef, the key criticisms of your book are really aimed at the publisher -- it's outrageous that they do not put together an adequate index for any book like yours which is referred to on a regular basis by readers who use it.

Regards, Bob

PS: edited for typo to correct meaning. B.
Last edited by Bob Ross on Thu Sep 14, 2006 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chef on Fire Raked Over the Coals

by ChefCarey » Thu Sep 14, 2006 12:06 pm

Bob Ross wrote:As a book review reader, I always prefer the long reviews -- the London Times reviews, the Atlantic and the New York Review of Books reviews are outstanding, so I'm biased.

But look at how people who rank the reviews respond: 4 of 4 found the long review helpful; one or two of four or five people found the short reviews helpful.

I haven't done a systematic study of Amazon reviews, but in general the longer reviews have a much higher "helpful" score than the shorter reviews.

In any event, Chef, the key criticisms of your book are really aimed at the publisher -- it's outrageous that they do put together an adequate index for any book like yours which is referred to on a regular basis by readers who use it.

Regards, Bob


Yeah, I agree with you - the longer reviews *are* in fact more helpful and provide more pertinent data about a given work.
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Re: Chef on Fire Raked Over the Coals

by Robin Garr » Thu Sep 14, 2006 1:12 pm

As the others said, it really is a decent review, and most of his nits are not with the author but the publisher.

There was a little arrogant "I'm an expert" tone about the review that would have made me irritable if it had been about a book of mine, though ... and also, maybe I'm just making this up, but almost a hint of an odd accent in his phraseology that made me think of customer service from Bangalore. Which seemed surprising given that he didn't sign with an Indian name ...
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Re: Chef on Fire Raked Over the Coals

by Bob Ross » Thu Sep 14, 2006 1:47 pm

Without insulting Bill, Robin, I think that's the engineer speaking. His style is quite consistent in a number of other reviews on Amazon.

Gosh you authors are touchy. :-)

Regards, Bob

PS: I'm glad Chef alerted me to this fellow -- he's reviewed 63 books and items and has a really cool description of how he reviews books:

In my own words

I enjoy cooking different cuisines from scratch, whether cooking for 2 at home, or cooking (with other cooks) for 20+ at 7 course black tie dinner benefits for charity.

I enjoy dining out at varied restaurants... It's fun sampling top examples of cuisines, from great goodies at a 'greasy spoon', a sidewalk vendor in Thailand, to 5 star celebrity chefs' creations.

I also enjoy adventurous travel, film and digital photography and scuba diving.

My reviews are generally strongly positive, as there's not much time to waste on reviewing mediocre stuff..however I feel I should warn people about really bad things..as I'd like to be warned...


I'm going to follow his reviews -- a fresh and honest voice from I can see. B.
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Re: Chef on Fire Raked Over the Coals

by Robin Garr » Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:08 pm

Bob Ross wrote:Without insulting Bill, Robin, I think that's the engineer speaking. His style is quite consistent in a number of other reviews on Amazon.


Who's Bill, Bob? What is the frequency? ;)
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Re: Chef on Fire Raked Over the Coals

by Bob Ross » Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:33 pm

Gotta check out Florida frequencies, Robin. :-)

[Much as I like his cookbook reviews, I'm really impressed with his generator and emergency lighting reviews. His experiences are hard won with Wilma's help and we are installing a backup generator. His information is toplight and accurate based on the research I've done to date.]
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Re: Chef on Fire Raked Over the Coals

by Robin Garr » Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:49 pm

Bob Ross wrote:Gotta check out Florida frequencies, Robin. :-)

[Much as I like his cookbook reviews, I'm really impressed with his generator and emergency lighting reviews. His experiences are hard won with Wilma's help and we are installing a backup generator. His information is toplight and accurate based on the research I've done to date.]


Sounds like a winner, Bob. I'm still confused about who "Bill" was, though. The person who reviewed Joseph's book signed off as "I. Seligman," not Bill anybody. Or was I looking at the wrong review?
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Re: Chef on Fire Raked Over the Coals

by Bob Ross » Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:57 pm

Oh, sorry. We have at least one regular named Bill who is an engineer.

Hate to irritate rngineers -- they often have great ways to get me out of jams I create through my hyper-activity and lack of judgment. :-)

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