BookLife – “eye for surprising detail . . . charged and vivid milieu”

BookLife Review, the indie arm of Publishers Weekly, has made its verdict on Keep This Quiet Too!

With an eye for surprising detail, Harrell conjures a charged and vivid milieu, even as the story she tells is often painful . . . A journey with grand destinations throughout the globe and within the author’s consciousness. – BookLife Review

Volume 2 of the Keep This Quiet! series, Keep THIS Quiet Too!

“Charged, vivid, painful, grand,” I’ll take it.  We look for quotable, stand-out phrases and words in a review, and these will do. The reviewer also finds of interest “her abundant enticing experiences and insights, and her relationships with her subjects.” The review opens:

“I’m not crazier than you,” Harrell reports once saying to her friend Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson’s response: “No, but you talk crazier.” That exchange, recounted in an introductory author’s note, kicks off the second in a series of memoirs (after Keep This Quiet!) by Harrell that examine her relationship with three fascinating men of letters: first that gonzo icon Thompson, for whom Harrell served as an editor at Random House and maintained a friendship with through his years of covering horse races and regatas, and Milton Klonsky, the beat writer who was her literary and spiritual advisor. Finally, there is the poet Jan Mensaert, her troubled husband, whose struggle with drugs, alcohol, and mental illness overshadowed his considerable artistic abilities.

“Horse races and regatta,” what about scrutiny of the political scene, the Life scene? Not the most passionate Hunter Thompson fan. But I am grateful. It’s an appreciative review, with phrases that lift out beautifully. My wish is that some people buy and positively review this book because it got caught in the algorithms web of Amazon, where a single rating (not review) is given almost as much weight as SEVEN five-star lengthy REVIEWS. So I am trying to kick this worthy book out of that algorithm spot. A single 2023 review would do it, I think. The rating system would ruble and budge and move the reviews back into proper weight. There is no way to get Amazon’s attention on this. I do not believe those that answer the phone in this division even read the email requests they receive.