When overreacting to reviews is a waste of wine

It's official kids! Calling out an author's vanity project on Goodreads can now get you bopped on the head with a bottle of finest Sauvignon.

Until today, I probably would have passed my time on Earth without ever hearing the name Richard Brittain, or his about self-published opus The World Rose, which has been inviting barbarous reviews on Goodreads and hasn't fared a whole lot better on Amazon.

Hell, would any of us know the name Tommy Wiseau if it weren't for The Room?

Don't count on Mr Brittain picking up Wiseau's ironically appreciative cult audience any time soon though. It's - thankfully - not often that an author goes to the trouble of tracking down and assaulting a reviewer, but this apparently is exactly what's happened here. Specifically, and this is the headline kicker, whacking her over the head with a bottle of wine.

As someone who's been on both sides of the review equation, I'm still trying to get my (unwined) head around why an author would take a review so personally, particularly one that came among a slate of others. If this was an effort to make sure he was known for something other than a terrible book, well, he succeeded! But it's not an honour I'd be particularly proud of.

Bad reviews are an inevitable part of any creative work. One wishes more people would take a page from the book of Noel Coward. Theatre critic Kenneth Tynan famously recalled one evening after reviewing Coward's Look After Lulu, during which the playwright approached him at dinner and said "Mr T, you are a cunt. Come and have dinner with me."

Now that's serving your critics with class. Think they shared a bottle of wine?

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