Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Tale of Two Shittys

You're reading Books, Beer and BLOGshit! It's the only blog on the internet that get's upset at things! I am your vindicated blogger for this article, Mr. Frank.

This time out on The BLOGshit we are going to discuss a book I had no intention of covering for either the podcast or the blog, David James Keanton's FISH BITES COP! More accurately we are going to discuss my review of that book and the subsequent drama that surrounded said review. That is where the fun begins.

Now, I read this book on an entirely personal level. As a rule I always provide a written review of anything I read on GoodReads (and Amazon when applicable) regardless of the book being covered on the podcast or here on the blog. So as always I posted my initial review on I prefer posting my reviews on for a variety of reasons, most notably their liberal guidelines with regard to review content. I can use colorful language and post links within my reviews. This is something deeply frowned upon at

Let's take a look at the exact review for David James Keaton's FISH BITES COP! that was sucessfully posted over at shall we:

To say FISH BITES COP! author David James Keaton has a chip on his shoulder would be the understatement of the year. In FISH BITES COP! (Stories To Bash Authorities) Keaton let's loose on anyone with an ounce of authority, and it's not pretty. If you're a fan of that guy who wrote FIGHT CLUB you too will soon forget what's his name after reading the new bad ass in town, David James Keaton.
So now you're thinking, "I'm cool, f#&k tha po-po, I can be down with this Keaton dude," but you better check yourself before you wreck yourself. Hidden in each of the stories in this collection are pop culture dress downs the likes which have not been seen since John Bender dressed down Principal Vernon in THE BREAKFAST CLUB. You best make sure you have all the cool movies picked out or Keaton will leave you feeling like a quivering mess who only enjoys movies on par with Barney the Purple Dinosaur.
If you can get past all that without drawing a single bead of sweat then you are in for a treat. This is dark, crimey, noir without an ounce of mercy to show for it. Each story punctuated by what I now have come to discover is The David James Keaton Ending. A unique short story ending technique that has your barreling along down a one way street doing 70 when all of a sudden DJK slams on the breaks and sets the car into a skid. You grab hold of anything you can clinch your fists around only to find yourself miraculously come to rest between two parked cars with barely an inch of space in front and back of each bumper.

What the hell does all that mean you ask? It means David James Keaton's FISH BITES COP! is not my usual fare but the stories in this collection were a breath of fresh air, even if said air was tainted with spit, sh!t and maybe a little blood. If you like your fiction all too real, maybe a bit dark and sadistic and definitely laced with thick,gooey sarcasm then this book and this writer are for you! Three stars because it's not my usual reading fodder but for people into this stuff a definite 4 to 5 star effort.
There it is. A fairly positive review. Some profanity but certainly nothing vulgar. If you were to read the book you would find the content of the book far more derogatory, profane and vulgar. Anyone put off by the language in this review is sure to be upset even more by the subject matter of the book.

So on the occasions where I do post my reviews on Amazon, I typically just cut and paste whatever I put up on Goodreads. Of course I have come to understand that Amazon is not fond of the seven dirty words so I typically censor that stuff out before posting. This time out I had already censored words like fuck and shit to f#!k and sh!t. Fickle but really no matter what place holders I use there we all know the intentions of my word choices.

Guess what? I get an email notification from Amazon that basically says my review was rejected because it violated Amazon's terms for acceptable review policy (or something of that nature). There were links to the official posting policies and encouragements for me to reword my review and try again.

Hey we don't want to offend anyone who might be interested in reading a book that includes killing police and goldfish. Let's tone it down buddy!

You betcha!

I set out to give a review that contained no foul language. No one occurrence of the S-word or (perish the thought) the F-bomb. This is wholesome, all-American language. Call me Mr. Family values. I wrote that review with all my heart and all the restraint I could muster. And do you know what? I am damn proud of that effort.

I checked the review all over. Proofread, edited, corrected. It was time to submit. Click. Oh I did so hope the god of the Amazon book review would accept my most G rated effort to date. The email showed up in my inbox. I bit my fingernails nervously.

Thank you for your review! Woohoo! So here it is, a review worthy of the pope himself. Nary a bad word in the lot:

David James Keaton's FISH BITES COP is an amorous romp through a dark noir world filled with hatred for police, fire and rescue personal and all points of authority in between and beyond. It's the kind of story you will want to make love to. Not ordinary love but the monkey kind of love. The kind of love that can only be had by swinging from the branches of exotic sub-equatorial trees high up in a canopy. The kind of love making that necessitates the flinging of number two at the object of your affections. And not man on monkey love, although I am sure there is a special place for that as well, but monkey on monkey love. Man monkey on female monkey love. Male monkey on male monkey love. Female monkey of confused sexual orientation but Im pretty sure he was originally a she monkey love.
And that's okay.
The last thing I want to do with this review is horrify the good folks at this reputable retail giant with potty words. Drivel words that might actually represent my true feelings toward this book. I wouldn't want to use words like that, there are plenty of words like that already readily available for sale at this fine establishment. So instead of upsetting you with words like that I will tell you how thumbing through this book was something akin to a vigorous session of wiping excrement from within the folds of my glutes. Don't you hate it when you have to use a low grade toilet tissue and your finger breaks through right at the moment of truth, at the deepest depths of the swipe and you come up with the brown finger. It's like the hole in the bottom of the popcorn tub trick gone bad. And that stink? The only thing that will get rid of that is time and bleach.
Seeing as you will now be holed up in the confines of your own space now waiting out the stink finger it would be a great time to whip out your copy of David James Keaton's FISH BITES COP that you purchased off this unorthodox and highly unhelpful yet completely within said retailer's strict community guidelines. Take in a story or two. Ignore that stank on your digit and dream longingly of your next round of rough primate POOH flinging
I don't get it. This is what happens when you leave your dirty work up to bots. I wrote this review with the inspiration from the very stories contained within FISH BITES COP! Just a moment where I railed against authority. Who are you to tell me what I can and can't say? But this is also to point out the hypocrisy that sometimes exists within the policies of large corporations. I once purchased a book titled SCARY FUCKING STORIES by DF Noble (yes, that DF Noble) from Amazon. They were all too happy to take my money and let me read SCARY FUCKING STORIES. Yet when it came time to write my review for SCARY FUCKING STORIES I had to edit out the title of the very book I was reviewing.

I won't pretend to have all the answers. I'm just incensed that Amazon doesn't have the answers either. I, the consumer am punished for giving an honest review of a product I plunked my hard earned money down on yet the product itself can get away with content much worse. I do know this. I am not asking for Amazon to fix the problem in favor of MORE censorship. I never want that.