Tag Archives: Amazon reviews

‘The Book Of Air And Shadows’ By Michael Gruber — Best Imitation Of ‘The Da Vinci Code’?

by Anura Guruge

Click image to access the Amazon listing.

Quite the book, and quite the story. Incredibly clever, with twists within twists and a level of detail about so many diverse topics that leaves one in awe. I have never heard of Michael Gruber before but I have to acknowledge that he is one heck of a storyteller, writer and intellectual. Bravo. The sheer detail he just throws into the story reminded me, more than once, og one of my favorite authors, the incomparably brilliant, John Irving. That said, this book, intentionally or not, is very much ‘The Da Vinci Code‘ redux. Nothing wrong with that. I know that many have tried, but Gruber does a great job getting close.

Is it as good as ‘The Code’? Maybe not — but Dan Brown had a even more compelling and intriguing subject to base his story than William Shakespeare.

To be honest parts of the story and plot are too far-fetched, trite and totally implausible. Life is never that pat, neat or tidy. But, others parts make up for this failure.

I was surprised at how harsh some of the Amazon reviews were. I really don’t think it was that bad. Actually, it is a GOOD book. I already gave it to an English scholar and told her that she will enjoy it. Plus, I am, of course, recommending it here! And even that seems unnecessary. It was, as it says on the cover, a ‘New York Times Bestseller’. So, it sure doesn’t need my imprimatur.

If you enjoyed ‘The Code’ you should give this a try. I doubt whether you will totally regret it. A tad hard to get through the first chapter, BUT then it gets more compelling and towards the end it is indeed a page-turner.

Related posts:
Check Category ‘Books’.

by Anura Guruge

Amazon Permitting Vendors To RECYCLE ‘Product Numbers’ To Retain Reviews From OLDER Products.

Here is the issue.

The favorable reviews you may be reading on Amazon might NOT be for the current model you are looking at. Appears that Amazon permits vendors to recycle Amazon product numbers (referred to as ASINS) so that they can RETAIN reviews that relate to older products.

So, for example, the reviews you may be reading for the NEW Garmin Forerunner 245 may not be for the 245. They could be reviews for the older Forerunner 235.

But, Amazon nor the vendor give you any indication of this. So, you are reading FAKE REVIEWS — intentionally recycled to deceive you!

A friend of mine, a fellow Garmin enthusiast like I, noticed it last week with a Garmin Forerunner 245 Bundle being sold by ‘EZ Electronics‘. It had 8 very positive reviews giving it a 4.3 (out of 5) stars. My friend had previously looked at the ‘Amazon’ listing for this bundle. He remembered that the rating wasn’t as high on that page. He went back and checked. That is when he got curious. Then he saw the dead giveaway. EZ Electronics was claiming that the Forerunner 245 had been available as of June 2018. NOT SO. The Forerunner 245 was only announced in April 2019. That is when he worked out that EZ Electronics, by recycling the ASINS, was using OLD (invalid) reviews from the older Forerunner 235.

So, here are some screenshots to explain what is happening:

Click to ENLARGE and read. Garmin’s announcement of the Forerunner 245 in APRIL 2019. So, anything that is dated before is for the older FR235, and NOT the FR245.

Click to ENLARGE. See … June 2018. Can’t be the Forerunner 245.

Click to ENLARGE. Screenshot captured by my friend.

Click to ENLARGE. The actual reviews.

So, the issue here is that of duplicitous reviews — recycled reviews from OLDER products that have no bearing on the product that they claim to represent.

So, be careful. Check the ‘Date First Available’ field. Make sure that it looks reasonable.

So, Amazon BUYER be AWARE.

Amazon has SINCE taken down this product listing.

This issue was brought to Amazon’s attention late last week.

They have responded by taking down the product listing.

So, that was good.

But, there could be other instances on Amazon.

Just keep an eye.

Better to be safe than sorry.