Saturday, November 18, 2006

Jon Swift's Complete Amazon Reviews

Although my Amazon reviews have been featured on Digg and Reddit, moved someone to create a YTMND (You're the Man Now Dog!) site that is dedicated to my literary criticism and have been quoted throughout the blogosphere, I have been very disappointed to see that Amazon has seen fit to delete many of them. Considering all the attention my reviews have brought to the money-losing Internet bookseller and all the inspiration they have given people by showing that you don't necessarily have to read books to review them, you would think that Amazon would be more appreciative of my work. Of course, some authors have disagreed with my analysis, most notably Thomas Woods Jr., whose objections I magnanimously posted here in the interest of fairness and balance. I have also been criticized by some readers, including one critic who wrote, "I came across a review you wrote on Amazon that made me laugh. Then I read your blog and laughed even louder. I thought, 'can this guy really be this idiotic?'. So then I went and read all of your Amazon reviews and realized that you are even more idiotic than I originally thought." Nevertheless, I stand by all of my reviews and so in the interest of posterity and the historical record I have decided to post them here on my modest blog where they will be safe from the clutches of Amazon censors.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History by Thomas E. Woods Jr.

0 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
I prefer history that is correct, January 17, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I don't understand why someone would write a book of history that is incorrect. I think we have enough problems nowadays getting young people to learn the correct dates when something happened and the correct names of our Presidents that filling their heads with more incorrect information doesn't make any sense at all.

AP Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law) by Associated Press

6 of 33 people found the following review helpful:
Style is not the most important thing, January 16, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I think it is a perfect example of what is wrong with journalism today: the emphasis of style over substance.

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas L. Friedman

4 of 31 people found the following review helpful:
Not very scientific, January 16, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I want to point out that there is one very big mistake right on the cover: The world is not flat; it is, in fact, round. Even though I am a conservative like Mr. Friedman and I appreciate his support of President Bush and the War in Iraq, I think conservatives like us have to be very careful about being perceived as unscientific because of our opposition to Evolution and I think a book like this which has a scientific error right on the cover is not very helpful.

Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism by Sean Hannity

17 of 25 people found the following review helpful:
I am against evil, January 19, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I agree with Mr. Hannity that evil is bad. I am against all evil whatsoever, whether it is in an axis or solo. Liberals are always making complicated distinctions between things that are a little bit evil and things that are moderately evil and things that are very evil. Not Mr. Hannity. Everything to him is either good or evil, period. I think that's a much easier way to view the world and it saves a lot of time.

Are Men Necessary? by Maureen Dowd

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Men are very necessary, January 16, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I want Ms. Dowd to know that men are very necessary. Without men, for example, I think we would be losing the War in Iraq. I used to like Ms. Dowd when she was attacking President Clinton for having sex but now she is attacking President Bush and there is no evidence whatsoever that he is having sex so I don't understand what the problem is.

Men In Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America by Mark R. Levin

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
I love Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, January 16, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I love the movie with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. I thought it was very funny and very imaginative with all of the alien creatures. I don't remember the movie saying anything about the Supreme Court but I know they often change books when they adapt them into movies. Even though I agree with everything Justice Scalia says he does sometimes seem like an alien from another planet, which I mean in a good way.

Right Turns: Unconventional Lessons from a Controversial Life by Michael Medved

A lonely man, January 19, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I feel very sorry for Mr. Medved. It must be difficult being a film critic who hates films and the people who make them and I wonder if he wouldn't have been happier in some other line of work. I also think it must be very lonely for him being one of the only Jews in Hollywood. When I read in the Washington Post review above the story of how he was forced to choose between his religious faith and the opportunity to go on the Tonight Show and make fat jokes about Elizabeth Taylor I was very moved and it reminded me of the film Chariots of Fire (a movie he probably hated). I'm glad the problem was resolved and he was able to go on the Tonight Show and make fun of Elizabeth Taylor after all, but then it occurred to me that she is also Jewish and maybe he could have had at least one friend in Hollywood. That made me sad to think about.

Winning The Future: A 21st Century Contract with America by Newt Gingrich

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A Contract As Good As the Paper It's Written On, February 9, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I think a new Contract with America is a great idea. The last Contract with America promised term limits, a balanced budget and an end to "scandal and disgrace" in Congress. I hope this contract is as successful as the last one.

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

11 of 46 people found the following review helpful:
12 is a pretty good average, January 25, 2006

I have not actually read this book but James Frey says that only 12 pages of his book are untrue and I think that's a pretty good average. I think it's a great and compelling book and recommend it highly. Only 12 words of this review are untrue. Can you guess which ones they are?

100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken Is #37) by Bernard Goldberg

1 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
America is not screwed up, January 16, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I was very distressed to see that someone has written a book claiming that America is screwed up. Apparently Mr. Goldberg is a liberal ranting that the Republicans who control Congress, the Presidency, the Supreme Court and much of the media have somehow screwed things up. Well, if that is how he feels, maybe Mr. Goldberg should go live in the Soviet Union. Maybe he would be happier there. I think America is doing just fine and it might do even better without liberals like him.

Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help (and the Rest of Us) by Mona Charen

I am against doing good, January 16, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I want to endorse the premise 100%. I am against doing good. It's not that much fun and it's usually not appreciated. I'm glad someone is brave enough to say so. I am constantly trying to help liberals by telling them how wrong they are and no one ever thanks me for it. I think now I'm not even going to bother.

Liberalism is a Mental Disorder : Savage Solutions by Michael Savage

0 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
The cover makes me suspicious, January 16, 2006

I have not actually read this book but judging from the cover Mr. Savage is apparently from San Francisco. Generally, I am suspicious of people from San Francisco. Bill O'Reilly has said that we should encourage Al Qaeda to attack San Francisco, which I think is going a bit too far, but the point he is making that people from San Francisco are out of the mainstream of normal Americans is a good one. I believe that Mr. Savage is a conservative but if that is true I don't know why he lives in San Francisco so it makes me suspicious that he could actually be an undercover liberal who is being deliberately outrageous to make conservatives look bad.

Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild by Michelle Malkin

5 of 18 people found the following review helpful:
I'm puzzled, January 16, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I'm a little puzzled that Ms. Malkin would have written it. Although she is a woman and not white she often attacks women and believes that we should be suspicious of people who are not white, which is very open-minded of her. So then logically, since she is a conservative, I would have expected that she would have written a self-critical book about conservatives, but instead she has apparently written a book attacking liberals. Does that mean she has now become a liberal?

Brainwashed : How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth by Ben Shapiro

14 of 46 people found the following review helpful:
Education is bad, January 17, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I do agree that education is bad for young people. Schools fill their heads with dangerous ideas. Have you ever noticed that while most schools teach "liberal arts" there is not a single one that teaches "conservative arts"? I think that should tell you something.

The Fat of the Land : The Obesity Epidemic and How Overweight Americans Can Help Themselves by Michael Fumento

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Makes conservatives look bad, January 16, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I know that right after writing it Mr. Fumento secretly started taking money from Monsanto and was recently fired by Scripps-Howard for doing that. So while he says he is against fat people in this book I think he changed his mind after writing it and became very fat himself. I think this kind of thing makes conservatives look bad. It makes people think that we are greedy and all we care about is money when in fact many of us want to lower taxes for the rich not out of greed but because we genuinely care about rich people. Mr. Fumento's actions might also make people believe that it is easy to buy us. For the record, I just want to say to any major corporations who might want to buy me off for the things I write that I am not as easy as Mr. Fumento to buy off but you are certainly welcome to try.

Women Who Make the World Worse : and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports by Kate O'Beirne

21 of 158 people found the following review helpful:
Are Women Necessary?, January 15, 2006

I have not actually read this book but it seems to be a reply to Maureen Dowd's book Are Men Necessary? I think Ms. Dowd's book was probably very hurtful (although I have not actually read it) so I can understand why Mr. O'Beirne would write a book attacking women in reply. Although I don't believe that women make the world worse, I also think men are necessary, so maybe these books will cancel each other out and we can all agree that both men and women have a contribution to make, women in running households and men in running the rest of the world.

How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter by Ann Coulter

4 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
Nice cover, January 15, 2006

I have not actually read this book but she looks very nice on the cover. She seems just a little too skinny to be healthy, however. I also wonder if her hair is really blonde. For some reason most Republican women that you see on TV seem to be blonde. I don't know if there is some reason that blonde women become Republicans or if the RNC has asked them all to dye their hair blonde. Anyway, I am very glad she wants to start a dialogue with liberals. Judging by the cover she seems very personable and reasonable so it doesn't surprise me that she would believe that constructive dialogue is a good thing.

Left Illusions: An Intellectual Odyssey by David Horowitz

Former communist, January 19, 2006

I have not actually read this book but the author is a former communist who suddenly changed into a conservative. I think if the McCarthy hearings taught us anything, they taught us that you can't trust former communists even if they were communists a long time ago.

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

I think it's illegal to read this, January 19, 2006

I have not actually read this book and I believe, in fact, that it is illegal to read it, or soon will be.

Rebel-in-Chief: How George W. Bush Is Redefining the Conservative Movement and Transforming America by Fred Barnes

9 of 37 people found the following review helpful:
Puppy love, January 31, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I have heard Mr. Barnes speak about it and he sounds like a 14-year-old girl in the throes of puppy love with a bad-boy upperclassmen who sneaks behind the bleachers for a smoke. I think this is a much better attitude than that of the usual biographer who sounds like one half of a cynical, bitter old married couple constantly harping on their spouse's human flaws. Apparently, Mr. Barnes completely ignores President Bush's human flaws, which is very refreshing. In fact, in this book I don't think President Bush sounds human at all.

Exporting America : Why Corporate Greed Is Shipping American Jobs Overseas by Lou Dobbs

First aliens, now this, March 3, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I think it is very unlikely that vast numbers of Americans could be shipped overseas to work against their will without anybody knowing about it. That Mr Dobbs should make such a farfetched claim shouldn't surprise anyone who has seen him on CNN, where he seems a little bit like Howard Beale in the movie Network. Apparently he believes that illegal aliens from other planets are taking American jobs. He is so obsessed with this idea that no matter what topic he is discussing he eventually ends up blaming aliens. Back when Walter Cronkite was an anchor if he had started obsessing about UFOs the network would have yanked him off the air immediately. I guess times have changed.

Fight Back : Tackling Terrorism, Liddy Style by G. Gordon Liddy

2 of 32 people found the following review helpful:
Rational, commonsense ideas, February 17, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I'm sure Mr. Liddy has some rational, commonsense ideas for fighting terrorism. For example, one thing terrorists want to do is to instill fear and Mr. Liddy is an expert at that. To get over his fears he once cooked and ate a rat, climbed a tree in a thunderstorm and held his hand over an open flame until it burned his flesh. If all Americans followed Mr. Liddy's lead and did these simple things that anyone can do at home I don't think we would have to worry about terrorism anymore.

Dog Days by Ana Marie Cox

6 of 16 people found the following review helpful:
An interesting reversal, January 20, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I think Ms. Cox has hit on a very interesting idea. Most people nowadays write non-fiction books with bits of fiction secretly interspersed throughout, sort of like Where's Waldo for adults. But Ms. Cox has brilliantly turned this idea on its head and written a fiction book with bits of non-fiction secretly inserted into the text. I wonder if Oprah knows about this unique innovation.

Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy by Peter Schweizer

15 of 38 people found the following review helpful:
I am against hypocrisy, January 16, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I am against hypocrisy and I am glad someone has written a book opposing it. It's amazing to me, for example, that liberals with questionable military records, like John McCain, John Murtha, John Kerry and Max Cleland have the hypocrisy to attack the war in Iraq. I don't know if Mr. Schweizer compares their military records with the records of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld in this book but if he doesn't he might want to do that in his next book.

Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism is Corrupting our Future by Ben Shapiro

14 of 46 people found the following review helpful:
Pornography in sheep's clothing, January 19, 2006

I have not read this book and I don't plan to read a book that is basically pornography. I must confess that when I was a teenager we used to look at books like this, which claimed to condemn pornography and various perversions, but went into very explicit detail about them. We would mark the dirty parts and pass them around.

Brokeback Mountain: Story to Screenplay by Annie Proulx

7 of 23 people found the following review helpful:
Great movie but not gay, January 18, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I did see the movie and I liked it very much. However, I don't understand why people keep referring to it as the "gay cowboy movie." Can't two men be very good friends without everybody saying they're gay?

JL421 Badonkadonk Land Cruiser/Tank Offered by NAO Design Price: $19,999.95

28 of 36 people found the following review helpful:
Tank got back?, August 14, 2006

I have not actually used this tank but I must congratulate the makers on choosing to name a tank after an African-American slang word for a curvaceous woman's buttocks. Surely, just the name alone will cause terrorists to avert their eyes and flee.

Updates: My review of Thomas E. Wood Jr.'s Politically Incorrect Guide to American History earns a mention in the Uncyclopedia. Michael Fumento responds to my review of The Fat of the Land in the comments.

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42 comments:

Michael Fumento said...

Yeah, I know you think you're absolutely hilarious with your "satire," but good satire has pieces of truth and your comments about me were void of it. I finished Fat of the Land in 1996 and published it in 1997. In 1999, as I was writing my next book, Monsanto gave a grant of $60,000 to my think tank employer Hudson Institute that was folded into my salary. In other words, I made no profit on that grant. Please look up "no" in the dictionary so I don't have to do it for you. It was not a secret; just because you don't put something on a billboard does not make it secret. When a BusinessWeek reporter looking to gun down conservative columnists asked me if I ever received support from Monsanto I could have simply told him no but did otherwise. My Scripps-Howard column didn't begin until five years after the grant was received. They didn't fire me because of it; they fired me because they're cowards and didn't want to risk the least bad publicity. They never even contacted me before dropping me; BusinessWeek called them and it was all over. Last month I had to leave Hudson precisely because I don't receive corporate donations -- the one from Monsanto was the last. Finally, I'm a graduate of a good law school and member of the bar. 25-year-olds graduating that same school start at an average salary of $135,000 -- about double what I was earning at age 46 at Hudson. For such a greedy person I must be about as dumb as you.

mikeynaked said...

First, I apologize for my pornographic name. I realize that it may be offensive, but as I always blog naked I felt a more inoffensive moniker would be untruthful.

Second, I'm sorry Mr. Fumento is as dumb as you, but I'm also sorry he's so much greedier than you are.

Third, your honest appraisals of books you've never read are heartwarming. I wish I had your courage.

Anonymous said...

thank you for coaching me in little league. I always loved it when you took us out to diary queen after every game.

fish said...

On top of your shameful attack on poor Michael Fumento regarding his finances, there is good evidence that he is not fat. I will admit his arms look kind of strange and he has the appearance of holding his breath. Perhaps his own statement of being dumb have an element of truth to them...

MistahCharley said...

It's remarkable that you give amazon.com free publicity here, when they have been deleting your reviews - it shows a generosity of spirit that we desperately need in these self-centered times.

PS: I haven't actually read any of those books either.

Tresy said...

BusinessWeek part of the liberal conspiracy too? I just knew it. Thanks to Mr. Fumento for warning us: you really can't trust anybody anymore. That's why I don't read books either.

d said...

Jesus fucking Christ these are great...

Do you do weddings and bar mitzvahs?

Xanthippas said...

I didn't actually read any of this but if I did I'm sure I would find the part about the 12 untrue words the funniest.

Clif said...

Since I can't trackback, I'll just blogwhore here in the comments. As a longtime connoisseur of the wingnuttery of Mr. Fumento, I had to write a post on the comment he left above.

On a different point, Jon, your post on Bush and the turkey was hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Fumento, when you say that "the grant was folded into your salary" that means that Monsanto paid you.

What difference does it make? If Monsanto hadn't paid Hudson, to pay you, then you wouldn't have gotten ANY salary to make this book.

If you had instead written something negative about Monsanto, your "salary" would have been revoked. But you're too much of a coward to come out and admit that's the real truth of the matter.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this valuable service you offer to teh blogosphere, especially since it is so infested with liberals and their "liberal ideas".

Your insightful insights into the literature of our time are very... well, insightful.

Anyone who's ever been channel surfing and landed on what looked to be a crappy movie, then watched it for a while thinking they would be open-minded and give it a chance only to discover after watching two crappy hours that it actually WAS the crappy movie they assumed it was after seeing the first ten seconds, knows that you CAN judge a book by its cover.

ckerst said...

My review of your site, not to Swift.
How clever.

Anonymous said...

Taking money from Monsanto is indefensible in any guise. Talk about an evil empire!

Udon Nomee said...

I read your many book reviews, and I hope you will not be too disappointed if I don't have much of an opinion of them. It's not that they aren't worthy of an opinion, it's just that I've made it my mission in life to remain non-judgmental and open-minded in every way, and at every opportunity.

mcshemp said...

Some day I hope to have not read as many books as you.

Batocchio said...

Thank you for preserving your insightful reviews for posterity. I'd name a favorite, but I enjoyed too many of them too much to pick.

Anonymous said...

I have not actually looked up "no" in the dictionary, but I do not think it means what Mr. Fumento thinks it means if he was scooped out of the think tank "precisely because" Monsanto stopped paying his salary (or doing origami with it or whatever).

X said...

All of these reviews were very helpful.

Well, I have not actually read all of your reviews, but the ones I did read (actually that's not true either, my bestfriend Ted,umm, Haggard read them to me) (that's not actually true either, I made that part up.) were very helpful. I want to say that, like, we Conservatives have to stick together to make sure that the books that promote an agenda of making peace and democracy bloom in the MidEast and MidWest as well as denouncing, you know, Liberals as evil and all that as we Conservatives evolve into a neverending power in this country. Actually, I'm writing this while in Australia, so that's kinda confusing, isn't it.

Anyway. Thanks for the great reviews. They were really great.

MediaBloodhound said...

Jon, you've made reading, er, uh, not reading fun again. And I thank you for that. Really, who has the time?

TSL said...

That "tank" looks like a rip off of 2 or 3 Return of the Jedi vehicles.

the salami from killarney said...

Solidarity, Jon. Personally, I think you're a fucking card! Keep at it. If an author wants to put his work in the public domain, then he's/she's got to be big enough to take any heat it attracts. And if anyone's dumb enough to take your reviews seriously, well then...I guess they're just dumb.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Swifft, I believe that you are actually the author of all these comments, including the one by the so-called "micheal funento". Can you prove otherwise? I thought not.

Sincferely yours,
J_____ S______

Specialist G said...

Hang in there, Mr. Fumento, the WAAAAAAAAHbulance is on its way! Let me add that I am very sorry that your sponsorship has expired and you are forced to adjust to life without sustenance from the corporate tit. That being said, I am growing weary of having to retrieve my daily paper from the bushes, gutter, and (once) the roof. If your aim doesn't improve I will have no choice but to withold your tip this Christmas...

Howie G said...

the whole business is very cute, but how do you post an amazon.com book review? email at howardgis1@verizon.net if you know the answer. Thanks

Bukko_in_Australia said...

I have read ALL of your reviews here, but I am working hard to forget them. When they have been completely erased from my memory, I will be back to comment further.

Martin said...

I have not actually read your reviews but I am sure they are very funny, informative and interesting. And insightful. I think it's very important that people review books on Amazon and it's very sad that your reviews have been removed.

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