Reviewing Reviews

Being an author, reviews are really important to me. I hate bad reviews for obvious reasons. However, you can’t really argue with justified opinions and if someone really thinks something I’ve done is bad, and they justify their opinion, then fair cop.

As you know, I have recently released and edited an anthology of Patheos Nonreligious writers’ work, titled Not Seeing God: Atheism in the 21st Century.

The book is a cornucopia of variety, looking firstly at philosophical arguments against the existence of God, then looking at how atheists fare in society in a number of areas (including psychological ones). Finally, the book looks at where we can go from now, and, for example, Hank Fox offers his own idea of an atheistic, secular future.

Given this structure, I cannot fathom the first two reviews, and this annoys me:

This is a 3-star review:

This whole book depends on Mr. Pearce changing the definition of atheism from “lacking a belief in God” to something that fits his arguments.

Using that technique, one can promote almost anything.

And this is a 1-star review:

No, atheism is *not* a worldview. Atheists run the philosophical and political gamut from Marxists on the far left, to Randian Objectivists on the far right, and every possible position in between. There are atheists who are ardent materialists, and atheists who believe in all sorts of pseudoscientific woo, just not in deities. The only common ground we all have is that we lack belief in god/s. Stop trying to make atheism into something it isn’t; we have enough trouble with theists trying to do that as it is.

This is simply and merely taking umbrage with the blurb in the back cover. Perhaps you can take issue with the wording there, but this would not be the opinion of the book if the reviewer had actually bothered to read the book. You shouldn’t write a review of a whole book based on merely reading the back cover.

Both of these reviews show a massive ignorance of what the book is about and what it contains, and there is nothing I can do about it. Given the recency of the reviews, there are only three there (thanks to a good review from another Jonathan!) the average is totally skewed. It is simply unfair and annoys the bejesus out of me!

If anyone has read it and fancies balancing the books, please, be my guest. Of course, if you didn’t like it…shhhhh!

I am really proud of this book for that aforementioned variety that makes a mockery of these reviews.

not seeing god: atheism in the 21st centuryFurthermore, my first fiction book to which I am presently writing the sequel, is on offer at Amazon at the moment. Grab a copy!

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