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Characters From Novel Turn Up In Amazon Reviews

We’ve heard of sock puppet reviews, but what do you call it when characters from a novel review the book on Amazon?

This has been happening for This Is Your Captain Speaking, a novel about an airplane crash in in the Hudson River in New York City. Here is an example, one of the reviews from “Passenger 12B”:

Far be it for me to point out that I almost died on that plane. There I was, pinned to the fuselage’s ceiling, wondering if I would ever see my kids again. Then we all discovered it was a ruse, and there was much rejoicing. Then we discovered Mr. Methven, who dreamed up our hellish descent and was writing a crap novel about it. He and I spent sleepless nights working and reworking my characters’ dialogue. And even though I didn’t think he had an inkling of how I would really react, I approved it because I thought he was my ticket to getting a foot in the door with the Hollywood crowd. 

We reached out to the author, Jon Methven, who had this response:

I’m pleased – though surprised – to see fictional characters that I had created weighing in with Amazon reviews, mostly because they’re usually silent regarding other novels. Throughout literary history there have been many characters subjected to really horrible situations who I would expect to negatively review the work in which they appear. Thus far most of the reviews from this book’s fictional characters have been fairly positive and had some praise in them, which is satisfying, but at least one is claiming she had an affair with the author and another is threatening me. I’m not sure what to do about that.

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