We found this recent post, Outdoor Writing: Reviewing the Reviewers on To Hatch a Crow. It is a thoughtful piece which draws attention to what so many have ignored for so long. And to what, in our view, has amounted to harassment of authors who are perceived to be ‘the competition’. Here is a paragraph from the article:
99% of reviewers, I would suggest, are honest and conscientious. They tend to be scrupulously fair and objective and never allow personal feelings about an author to cloud their judgement. However, that’s not to say that there are not some bad apples in the barrel. One of our best known climbing writers does a good line in rubbishing authors he sees as rivals by writing one and two star reviews on Amazon under a series of pretty transparent pseudonyms. Rather amusingly, he always gives his own books five star glowing reviews.
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In our opinion it is apparent that for over a decade an individual who by underhand behaviour and the deceitful use of aliases (and he has gone so far as to imagine for himself female personas…) has dogged genuine and exceptional writers in this way. Jealousy is clearly the name of his game, duplicity his weapon of choice. Perhaps it could hardly be called ‘a problem’ as in each case (and there are many) the authors subjected to these malicious reviews and comments are so well thought of in their own academic fields and by their reading public that what was written about them could be recognised for the ‘malice’ it was — and, it has been said, ‘sour grapes’ — and, in real terms, dented their literary reputations not at all.
Nevertheless, it was mean-spirited and distasteful to a degree and the person who carried out such a manipulative course of action is one who in a decent society deserves no respect and has shown themselves to be Beyond the Pale.
Many times before on this site we have noted (and named) one whom we consider to be the most flagrant and fraudulent reviewer of recent years — this after much research and cross-referencing of available material. And we now award the author, Jim Perrin (for we believe it is he), ‘5 stars’ for his outstanding efforts in this particular literary genre.
There follows a list of some of our posts on the subject, which may be found of interest:
A question of identity?
In poor taste
Is Jim Perrin ‘Melangell’?
Stop Press: Jac’s sisters write in response to the R.J.Ellory scandal with particular reference to Jim Perrin
To review, or not to review, that is the question
Jac’s sisters absolutely believe that ‘Llywarch’ IS Jim Perrin
Pearls before swine
‘Llywarch’s’ poisoned pen
Stop Press: Jim Perrin writes under his most recent alias
A ‘Llywarch’ review
Guardian Country Diarist Jim Perrin (alias ‘Llywarch’— alias ‘Tim Bartley’) reviews his own work
Might Jim Perrin have used the name of another author to deceive the CSA?
N.B. Jim Perrin has also used the names of at least three people with whom he has been involved in some way:
1). ‘Melangell’. (Siân Melangell Dafydd is a most sensitive young Welsh author, highly regarded and awarded who, she acknowledged, spent some time at Jim Perrin’s property in France whilst working on a book.) The many comments posted in her name against Jac’s sisters may be seen at The Guardian here. Scroll to 24/07/2010. It is interesting that this thread was started on 19/05/2010 and, after so many of our posts on the subject of the use of aliases, was closed down on 12/07/2013. It is imperative to point out that we do not believe for one moment that this young woman had any knowledge of the hi-jacking of her name by Jim Perrin.
2). Amanda Townend, Ariège. (Someone with whom we know Jim Perrin has certainly been close.) Following a less than excellent review of West by Stevie Davies a sharp little comment was posted under this name, written in Jim Perrin’s unmistakable style. It was later removed: we understand that only the person who posts a comment may remove it? However, ‘We have a print-out.’
3). In a letter to a local newspaper concerning the granting of shooting licences Jim Perrin joined his name to that of Jan Wolf, his current partner, to become ‘Janet and James Wolf’. This was dishonest: she is Janet, known as Jan Wolf; he is Jim Perrin, only occasionally known as ‘James’. So to sign as he did, and the letter was clearly his own composition although doubtless she approved it, was to deliberately mislead even though the cause which the letter addressed was worthy.
After our many accusations that Jim Perrin was posting reviews using an alias ‘Llywarch’ he changed it to ‘Tim Bartley’ and he has also changed his alias ‘Arthur Dooley’ to ‘Jago Wells’. (The text was unchanged.) This seems the strongest evidence that it is Jim Perrin’s hand which practices this legerdemain. These reviews and comments may still be seen on Amazon — unless he should, for ‘discretion’s’ sake, decide to delete them altogether… However, if he does so, ‘we have print-outs’ of each and every one of them; and we think he would be rather sorry to lose all the ‘5 stars’ which he has awarded himself over the years.