Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Through the Eyes of a Manic, by Lesley Watson

A few days ago I was on Amazon and chanced upon "Through the Eyes of a Manic" by Lesley Watson. It is a short enough read, a very real, very harrowing account of one woman's life suffering not only manic depression but rape and abuse.

I finished reading the book this morning and went back onto Amazon to leave a short review. It was then that I noticed the single (one star) review (entitled "Impossible to read") that had been left there some time ago. It had not caught my attention at the time I saw and purchased the book for download.

Reading the reviewer's comments, I was shocked and stunned. It is one thing to find fault with a published book, quite another to berate and deride its author in personal terms. I can scarcely imagine how the author, having had the guts to write and then publish her life story, must have felt to have it scorned by someone by their own admission had not even finished reading it.

I hope the review I left goes some way to redressing the balance:

"Powerful and compelling: My best friend is bipolar and I came across this book whilst looking to increase my awareness of the impact of bipolar disorder / manic depression. I was not disappointed. The account is frank, powerful and compelling and I would recommend it to anyone. The author's story is harrowing, but told plainly without self-pity. Ultimately the message is one of hope, I hope the author's life has continued positively from where the book ends.

"I feel compelled to mention the single other, intensely negative and frankly abusive, review here on Amazon. I am glad I did not notice it before buying and reading the book. Having read the book myself now I can recognise none one of the criticisms this person makes. The book may not be perfectly formatted and there are a (very) few typos, but that in no measure detracted from my engaging with the author's story, which moved and affected me deeply. The reviewer has a right to their opinions of course, but I am left gasping at their utter lack of empathy or understanding. The review says far more about the reviewer than it does the book."

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