We recently noticed an interesting reader-submitted review on Amazon for Jessica Grose’s new novel Sad Desk Salad. Slate editor David Plotz (Ms. Grose’s former boss, as she was a senior editor at Slate and most recently wrote for the site in August 2012) submitted a review just like any other normal book-buyer. “I am not a woman, not a New Yorker, not a blogger, not marinated in New York media, but I still loved this very sweet, often wicked, and extremely funny book about a young woman trying to make it,” Mr. Plotz wrote (not noting that Ms. Grose had written for the site he edits, out of Washington. Hence: not New York media!).
Maybe it’s another David Plotz, we thought! Not so: on the day of publication of The End of Men by Hanna Rosin (pictured), as the pair were undergoing a jokey publicity tour, Mr. Plotz wrote another Amazon review. “I’m Hanna Rosin’s husband, so I’m obviously biased,” he wrote, “but I have also lived with this book and this subject for two years, and I can tell you confidently that Hanna has written an absolutely gripping and thought-provoking book about why the world has changed so fast.” Six of fourteen Amazon readers found the review helpful.
Four out of Mr. Plotz’s five Amazon user reviews grant the subject the perfect five stars (including a rave review for The Bush Tragedy, written by Jacob Weisberg, the editor-in-chief of Slate Group and a man Mr. Plotz calls “a colleague and friend”). The one negative review was for a Black & Decker toaster oven. “The timer did not function, causing me to nearly set fire to my kitchen when the first piece of toast I put in incinerated,” Mr. Plotz wrote. “Also, it came without an instruction manual.”
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