I guess, if you want to get technical, I wasn’t really censored. According to dictionary.com, to censor is to delete a word or passage of text, and Amazon didn’t do that. Instead, they refused to post my entire book review on their website because it didn’t “adhere” to their guidelines.
Admittedly, I was miffed. I had put considerable thought and time into my review of J. Ryan Stradal’s newly released book The Lager Queen of Minnesota. But more than miffed, I was confused. I’d raved about the book and given it a 5-star review. Grudgingly, I clicked on the link that would offer an explanation as to why my review had been rejected, and after plowing through their guidelines, I was still confused … and mad. As far as I know, I’m not related to Stradal, and this review wasn’t in response to a request or in return for money. In addition, I’d tried to be respectful—didn’t have any content that was “libelous, defamatory, harassing, threatening or inflammatory.” Hadn’t included any “obscenities or profanity, and [hadn’t] expressed hatred or intolerance…” yada, yada, yada. At least I didn’t think I had, but in these days of heightened sensibilities, who knows?
But rather than pursue the futile task of taking on the mega giant of e-tail, I decided to make better use of my time and post it on my own website. While my review might not reach millions of customers, it will still be read by thousan … hundre … several of my discerning and faithful followers. Take that, Amazon!
Without further fanfare—or griping—here is my review:
After reading Kitchens of the Great Midwest, I looked forward to another book from J. Ryan Stradal with both anticipation and apprehension. Many times when an author’s debut novel is an overwhelming success, the follow-up tends to disappoint. But this was not the case with The Lager Queen of Minnesota. I enjoyed this novel even more than his first one. Maybe it’s because of where I am in my own life that I loved his wise, kind, and tenacious protagonist and I appreciated Stradal’s treatment of … let’s say “women of a certain age.” As in his first book, I was captivated by his characters’ midwest idiosyncrasies —which I found both hilarious and endearing. I was also impressed by his vast knowledge of the beer industry. Having never been a beer drinker, I learned so much about the art and skill that goes into brewing a quality product. (I even googled what IPA stands for.) Most of all I loved his message about the importance of community. I’m a total sucker for any story in which the most unlikely of people achieve success through supporting and encouraging one another. As I did with Kitchens…, I’m sure I’ll be revisiting this uplifting story again and again.
Also, kudos to Judith Ivey, the narrator of the audio version. Her talents as a seasoned actress contributed greatly to the delight of listening to the book.
That’s it. I don’t know … maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned people of the midwest have idiosycrasies. Maybe the phrase “ladies of a certain age” is offensive to some, but since I’m one of those ladies I didn’t think it would be a problem. Or maybe Amazon has a bias against people who don’t drink beer.
Whatever the problem, I hope my review isn’t so offensive that it keeps you from reading the book. If you enjoy funny, fast-paced stories about plucky, multi-generational women, this book is for you.
Caveat: It does contain strong language.
Also, J. Ryan Stradal I hope you read this so that you know I tried to give you a riveting review on Amazon. And if you’d like to leave a comment, that would be great. 😁