Judson Merrill Writes His Own Amazon Reviews

My literary career is young, but it’s never too early to begin hoarding water in the bomb shelter of posterity. For the benefit of scholars and fans alike, I will use this space on The Outlet, on a semi-regular basis, to release a selection of my correspondence and other papers. Enjoy. (Universities interested in acquiring the complete Judson Merrill archive should contact me through my web site.)

I read because I love good stories and, boy, does Judson Merrill’s new novel have a great one. Scarification is about a poor farmer in 1940s Iowa who overworked his field during the war and must now let it lay fallow. With so much time to think, his past begins to trouble his dreams. Also, the circus comes to town and he starts hanging out with a troupe of acrobatic women. He also befriends some really cool and edgy freak show people. I don’t want to spoil the book’s many surprises, but it turns out some of the freaks have, shall we say, a taste for blood. They’re vampires! I highly recommend this page-turner and recommend that you mark this review as helpful. — MerrilLFan4Life (Dayton, OH)

Judson Merrill’s Scarification is a towering achievement of undaunted brilliance and a luminous love letter to the English language. Given the corporate mindset of publishing these days, we shouldn’t be surprised when the greatest artistic achievements are electronically self-published on Amazon. If you care at all about genius or words, you should read this book. — Eggmoney Boymelgreen (Piedmont, CA)

Character is the most important thing to me in a book and the main character of Scarification, Farmer Brad Harrison, is masterfully drawn. Over the book’s first few hundred pages the reader gets a real sense of what Farmer Brad looks like and how he moves his head when he’s eating. That quietness (which I think is what another reviewer meant when they referred to the book as “achingly dull”) makes the book’s incredibly hot sex scenes all the more believable and powerful. There are four of them and they’re all really good. — Normal McHuman (Omaha, NE)

I recently read this book and I’m not sure what DrBibliophile47 means when he says it’s pandering and clumsily written. I encourage everyone to mark his review as unhelpful. Especially strange is the list of “egregious typos” he includes in his review. None of the mistakes appear in the version I just downloaded. If you’re seeing a lot of typos, it’s probably a problem with your e-reader and you should re-download. Final thought: I think the abrupt shift of tense in the middle of the book is social commentary, not “unedited laziness of the highest order.” — L.T. Reader (Anywhereville, DO)

Hey, everyone! Just wanted to chime in and say that I doubt all the 5-star reviews are from the author! At the very least, mine’s not! I loved this book and I’m a woman so I couldn’t possibly be the author! I also think the string of reviews and comments that Scarification is “misogynistic” or “exhibits a caveman ideology toward the sexes” are way off! It’s not like the nymphomania among the female characters is portrayed as a good thing! Hello! It’s part of their vampirism! Also, a metaphor! If you take it literally, you’re a lazy reader! And, again, I’m a woman, so you can trust me on this one! — NastyKitty (Atlanta, GA)

I was hesitant to download Scarification because of the vitriolic war of words being waged in these reviews. But a smart friend — who actually has a PhD in bibliophiles instead of just using that as a screen name — really recommended this book and I read it in one three-day binge. If you don’t think this story’s for you, you should buy it and read it to see how wrong you are. The reviewers who don’t like this book just don’t get it. To DrBibliophile47’s latest comment, I would pose this question about the “unmotivated, unwanted, and unending” final section of the book: If our societies have serial killers, why wouldn’t vampire societies also have them? — Boaz Bag-Bag (New York, NY)

Greetings, citizens. I recently read Scarification with great interest and much enthusiasm. Because I’m a professor of computers at the local university I did a boolean analysis on the book’s prose style and word amounts. My science computer says there’s a 97% chance this book was actually written by Mark Twain and Judson Merrill is a posthumous pseudonym. If you enjoy the works of Mr. Twain, you should buy this book. — K. Von Landren (Harvard, MA)

I’m going out on a limb here, but DrBibliophile47’s recent comments include several references that only the author and his wife could know about. I think DrBibliophile47 is actually Merrill’s wife enacting a personal vendetta in her reviews. Anyone who would abuse this public space for her own selfish reasons should not be trusted. Everyone please mark her review as unhelpful. Also, note that Amazon, for whatever reason, has recently removed several of this book’s five-star reviews. Probably just a server error, but keep in mind that the average rating for this book is technically much higher than it appears. — Rolf Dangers (Miami, FL)

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–Judson Merrill
lives and writes in Brooklyn. Some of his work, including his e-novella The Pool, can be found at judsonmerrill.com.

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