Richard Brittain is an aspiring author and champion of the Channel 4 game show “Countdown.” He’s also really bad at taking criticism. A teen-aged woman named Paige Rolland left a negative review for his book, “The World Rose,” on its Amazon page. This didn’t sit well with Brittain, who tracked her down, stalked her, and finally hit her over the head with a bottle of wine at the grocery store where she worked.
Rolland’s wound was serious, requiring several stitches. “Had he hit me any harder, I could have died,” Rolland told Mirror Online. She now suffers from serious anxiety and panic attacks, likely symptoms of PTSD.
“I find it difficult to meet new people and am nervous in big crowds,” she said.“I have bad anxiety and I feel nervous if I see anyone who reminds me of him.”
“I find it weird and creepy he tracked me down and traveled to Scotland to assault me. But then his book was about a woman he was stalking for years. The fact that he assaulted me and didn’t say a word is horrifying.” — Paige Rolland
Brittain pleaded guilty to assaulting Rolland, but the damage to his reputation as an author might outweigh whatever judicial decisions have been made on Rolland’s behalf. Not that Brittain was ever a competent writer to begin with (his manuscript for The World Rose was nowhere near ready when it was published), but reviews for his works have tanked ever since the assault—and they’re quite hilarious.
“A Richard by another name is a Dick,” reads the headlines of the top-rated review. “This is a knockout work,” writes Jram, “inasmuch as there’s a chance the author will track you down and knock you out, as he’s a real piece of work.”
The review continues:
“It’s like The Grapes Of Wrath, but only because – angry at what he perceived as a negative critique – the author assaulted a young woman with a bottle of wine, leaving her in need of stitches.
“‘The World Rose’ – I suspect it wasn’t the world that rose, rather it was whatever is in his pants. Unable to take rejection, either romantic or of his writing, the author resorted to stalking and assaulting people. Nice guy.”
“Every Rose has a thorn, so they say,” writes Ginger Nuts, “this book is just one big prick.”
“Sometimes when writing a review for a book I struggle to get my true feelings across. Some books are so great that I fear I never do them the justice that they deserve. And sometimes they are so bad that the only justice a review could do for the book is to call the cops and get the book locked up in literary jail.
“Brittian’s grasp of basic story telling is as limp as a week old salad leaf. Puerile descriptions and terrible dialogue combine to make a story that isn’t just dull and lifeless, it is also so annoying. There isn’t a page on this book that doesn’t contain at least one cardinal sin of writing.
“Britain apparently won Countdown, maybe Suzie Dent should have thrown the Oxford English dictionary at him, as the only couindumfrum here is how on earth this man ever got published.”
“I enjoy wine and a good book,” writes Miss LAT.
“What can I say? I mean, I enjoy wine and a good book, but I prefer to drink the wine than to have it smashed over my head (as did this author’s poor victim, one assumes). Perhaps if the author didn’t want bad reviews or critique, he should either not be in this business, or use it wisely to produce a better piece of literature.
“Amazon may want to decide if they continue to allow the author to publish on their platform, given the danger to readers who do not like what they read.”
Let this be a lesson to all aspiring authors: be thankful someone took the time to read your work and leave it feedback, even if it’s negative. It’s okay to be hurt, annoyed, or indignant about it, but somewhere between ignoring your critics and smashing a wine bottle over their heads lies the solution to negative press from Amazon reviewers.
You may also enjoy: