Hippo Eats Dwarf Book Review Contest

Amazon.com has started shipping copies of Hippo Eats Dwarf. So anyone who pre-ordered it should be receiving it soon. This also means that people can now post customer reviews of it on Amazon. Obviously there are no reviews of it yet, and the book looks kind of lonely without any. This has given me an idea for a contest.

I point out in Hippo Eats Dwarf that a significant number of the customer reviews on Amazon are fake (glowing reviews posted by friends of the author, or by the authors themselves). I also point out that it's quite common for reviewers to never read the books they're reviewing. As the Scottish reverend Sidney Smith once said, "I never read a book before reviewing it; it prejudices a man so."

Given this (my general skepticism about Amazon reviews), I'd like to have some fun with the reviews of Hippo Eats Dwarf. Here's my idea. I'll send a signed copy of the book to whomever posts the most creative customer review of it on Amazon by the end of this month. (This may produce some interesting stuff, or it may not. We'll see how it goes.) You'll need to acknowledge your review here in the comments section if you want to win the prize (unless your Amazon screen name is the same as your Museum of Hoaxes screen name... or I believe it's also possible to send reviewers email through Amazon). You'll also need to have an Amazon account (which, I believe, requires a credit card I was wrong about the need for a credit card. You can create an Amazon account with an email address alone... and Amazon doesn't verify the address).

Just to clarify: I'm not looking for phony glowing reviews. Instead, I'm looking for imaginative reviews in the spirit of great Amazon reviewers such as Henry Raddick. Post a review that accurately describes what the book is about. Or imagine what a book called Hippo Eats Dwarf might be about (ignore the subtitle), and write a review of that. Write your review as a limerick, or a haiku. Whatever you want. Just make it interesting. Points definitely go for humor. Hopefully I won't get in trouble with Amazon for this.


Posted on Wed Mar 08, 2006


I wrote a review for you! :D
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Wed Mar 08, 2006  at  03:46 PM
It seems that if you put your review in saying that you are under 13 it does not ask for your CC details. Anyway below is my review which I have submitted.

Hippo Eats Dwarf is a story that a lot of American's can relate to. It is the story of obesity.

The story is told of a female trapeze artist called Ursula Shipton who due to an accident is unable to continue her high flying work. Due to these she quickly gains wait and notoriety for eating just about anything. It finally gets to a stage where she has to choose between continuing her glutinous ways or doing the right thing.

Overall the book is light hearted written well. 3 out of 5
Posted by Shannon  in  Sydney  on  Wed Mar 08, 2006  at  03:48 PM
I'm not sure Alex, looking at the small print, reviews might be kicked out.

Here's my review below
I posted it as an under 13 year old (another hoax) but I'm not giveing them my credit card number for this
(also there seemed to be nowhere to include my name.)
Possibly one of the most risque romance novels I have ever read. A young man with height problems and his predeliction for large pachyderms. A love that is more than requited.
I was surprised that Alex (the writer) could actually get away with such a potentially inflamatory title.

Well, it's more of a cook book really, one thousand and one was to cook a dwarf, aimed at a special audience.

Basically the book is set in downtown New York where two street gangs known as the Hippo-ninjas and the Dwarves are fighting over turf. the title comes from possibly the most powerful line in the book when the leader of the Dwarf Gang stands before the leader of the Hippo gang and says 'Eat Me.' just before all hell breaks loose.
Posted by Sharruma  in  capable of finishing a coherent  on  Wed Mar 08, 2006  at  05:00 PM
We'll have to wait and see what Amazon does. My hunch is that they don't really monitor reviews that closely. And given the theme of the book, I would argue that tongue-in-cheek reviews are totally appropriate.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Mar 08, 2006  at  06:01 PM
I just posted my review on Amazon:

More than meets the eye.

At face value, this book appears to be merely a collection of amusing tales--a poignant portrait of the interaction of guile and gullibility. That is, until you realize that it is also a vehicle for encrypting the prophesies of cult leader and pareidolically-recognizable religious icon, Alex Boese. This neoskeptic messiah has posted his challenge to his hoaxaphilic disciples in a way that only the best can appreciate.

His encryption methods don't appear to be new. After a thorough search using the techniques employed in Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, I found very little that was more complicated than the equidistant letter sequences of the Torah Codes. In public interviews Boese has made oblique references to the existence of an additional, deeper layer of encryption, which is only evident when you've decoded all the messages in all of his books. Not for one minute do I doubt that Alex had the foresight to begin this complicated undertaking with his first book, but given his penchant for hoaxes, I'm reluctant to begin the search.

Buy the book. Leave it on the coffee table for chuckles. But if you desire the gnosis of Boese, you'll need to dig below the surface. Happy decoding.
Posted by Virgil Keys  in  Australia  on  Wed Mar 08, 2006  at  06:09 PM
I've had a look at the reviews and I don't see Shar's or Shannon's review so maybe you need a credit card to have your review shown on the site? Perhaps they won't publish a 'childs' review?
Posted by Nettie  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Wed Mar 08, 2006  at  07:05 PM
Or maybe I just didn't read it properly and it can take a while to show up... red face

You have another review Alex! Enjoy!

Following the huge success of 'The Museum of Hoaxes' I waited in anticipation for the follow up, 'Hippo Eats Dwarf'.
However dear readers, I was shocked when I learned the horrible truth behind this book. Alex Boese DID NOT write this book. Nor did he even pen MoH.
The truth is, a team of highly trained monkeys have been working around the clock for the past two years, getting paid literally peanuts, to churn out yet another best seller.
I'll give you a minute to come to grips with this shocking news.
At first I was in denial, I felt cheated and gullible. However, after a while I began to realise just how wonderful this breakthrough was. If we can help these monkeys have a successful career just by buying their book, isn't that worth something? So buy this book now! Do your bit to help an underprivilged primate suceed in the cut throat publishing industry today.
Posted by Nettie  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Wed Mar 08, 2006  at  07:26 PM
When you submit the review
it says it takes 5-7 days before it'll appear
so be patient smile
Posted by Sharruma  in  capable of finishing a coherent  on  Wed Mar 08, 2006  at  09:27 PM
Childs reviews must go through an extra review process. Adult reviews seem to appear almost right away.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Mar 08, 2006  at  09:38 PM
I didn't have to give my credit card details. It came up with the screen to enter your credit card details or change your real name to a pen name. I put in a pen name and it posted my comment straight away without needing the card details.
Funnily enough it wouldn't acceppt my comment until after I had ticked the box saying I was over 13 years of age...
Posted by Nettie  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Wed Mar 08, 2006  at  11:31 PM
I wrote a review about the hippo-dwarf action smile
Posted by HenryGH  on  Thu Mar 09, 2006  at  03:42 AM
I am under age, but I lie. smile Here's mine:

I got this book, and expected it to be nice and enjoyable. But instead, this simple person, Alex Boese, who is no better than anybody else, has to make fun of people. Just because some persons are *slightly* shorter than others, it doesn't mean that we should call them dwarfs. The appropiate term is "Little Persons". Right now I am burning the book to rid my house of evil, politically incorrect demons. I hope you all will too. I even made a poem to show my anger:

Alex Boese, who made this,
this stupid, stupid, mess,
which insults other people,
when it itself is B.S.
Posted by "Moon Pie"  in  USA  on  Thu Mar 09, 2006  at  04:46 AM
Check Your Review of
Hippo Eats Dwarf : A Field Guide to Hoaxes and Other B.S.
by Alex Boese

Here is your review the way it will appear:
Here's the review I posted for you on Amazon:
What They Didn't Tell You, March 9, 2006
Reviewer: Robin L. Sardini (Edinboro PA) - See all my reviews
My, my Alex! You've done it again!
All I can say is:

That delicious dwarf!
It's total hippotamy
To munch like you have!
Posted by RobinL  on  Thu Mar 09, 2006  at  05:48 AM
Listen, if you're writing a hoax review, at least give it more than 1 star. Several of the obvious hoax reviews gave it bad stars :(
Posted by Bill  on  Thu Mar 09, 2006  at  05:56 AM
My submission: (5 stars)

Translated from the original German, this testament has a few inaccuracies which lead to some confusion (and thus the title), but for the most part it can be followed by the faithful as a devotional and spiritual guide (which is it
Posted by oppiejoe  in  Michigan - USA  on  Thu Mar 09, 2006  at  07:58 AM
submitted -- the hoax with the mostest
should see it soon (maybe?)

This one makes my Joy Of Farting book look like crap.

It makes you go Flippo over a Hippo with Zippo effort!!

This book's fictional fakery goes well beyond any created by George Bush.

It's so embarrashingly funny it would make even the Desperate Housewife's blush and happy to have wrinkles.
Posted by quicklee irrational  on  Thu Mar 09, 2006  at  02:32 PM
One word: Genius. As soon as I think of something I'll write it (probably using my real amazon account)
Posted by Owen  on  Thu Mar 09, 2006  at  03:14 PM
By one O.D. Tuz, hopefully it should turn up soon
Posted by Owen  on  Thu Mar 09, 2006  at  03:43 PM
I was out of ideas, but I added the first thing I came up with.
Posted by Dracul  on  Thu Mar 09, 2006  at  08:17 PM
I was debating whether or not to do an acrostic poem, but I didn't know what to spell out.
Posted by Dracul  on  Thu Mar 09, 2006  at  08:20 PM
Ooh! Mine's been sent!

Bloody hell, though, have you guys had a change in your postage rates...

Item Subtotal: $10.20
Shipping & Handling: $8.98

Whoo-whee! Postage equal to almost 90% of the product cost!! Barmy!!
Posted by outeast  on  Fri Mar 10, 2006  at  01:16 AM
Done... if they even put it up!

The book Hippo Eats Dwarf may, at first glance, seem a daunting title. However, it is an easy read and very informative.

The book lists names of CIA software written over the last few centuries. Each chapter (and there are many) lists the acronymic name as well as a history and description of the software.

For instance, Chapter 5 discusses the HIPPO software, or Highly Interactive Past Participle Operator program. This was used in the 1800's to decode smoke signals sent by renegade Indians prior to their attacks on villages and cities. As you may know, certain American Indian Languages can be easily understood by way of their complex but consistent usage of past participles. The HIPPO program took approximately 3 hours to decode any given signal - an amazing feat in those days, as the computers of that era were called Original Simulacrums and were created through use of hay baling twine and paper clips.

In chapter seven, we learn about the DWARF software, which ultimately replaced HIPPO because of DWARF's advanced technology. Using a computer built in the early 1930's with the then-newly available Stirling steam engine, the Decimating Word Arranging Reference Formula could solve any Tribal smoke signals within a space of 75 minutes. It was also used as a diversion by early CIA agents who often turned the machine on at parties where a lot of cigar smokers provided some outlandish signals to translate.

Chapter fifteen shares some frightful moments revealing details of the BOESE-HOAX platform. Built in the late 1940's from scraps thrown out by Hewlitt and Packard, the Binary Original Electronic Simulacrum Engine - Highly Optimized Advanced Translator (hey, HOAT sounds stupid, so they used the common 'X' as shorthand for 'Trans' - a common practice!). At any rate, the BOESE-HOAX platform was not only capable of translating from all known languages, but was also able to generate specific and detailed information on any topic - but that was completely bogus! Hence the beginnings of the word Hoax, as well as the beginning of the CIA's ultra-sophisticated deception programs and propoganda.

All in all, the book is highly entertaining, detailed and, if nothing else, a pleasant read before going to bed.
Posted by OriginalSim  on  Fri Mar 10, 2006  at  12:54 PM
Hippo Eats Dwarf-A Field Guide to Hoaxes and Other B.S. of the Circus Mafia
that ones mine
Posted by sandwich maker  in  Pennsylvania, USA  on  Fri Mar 10, 2006  at  04:08 PM
"Da Vinci Code Cash in." Thats me. Hey and someone already found it helpful.
Posted by Rocco6025  on  Sun Mar 12, 2006  at  06:36 AM
I am not happy at this contest at all. As a shopper at Amazon, I do not like finding a product's user reviews essentially filled with spam. While, yes, there are likely many fake reviews on this website, at least it isn't nearly as bad as this.

The confusing reviews will also likely make people not buy it unless they already know what it is, I might add.
Posted by catwhowalksbyhimself  on  Mon Mar 13, 2006  at  05:56 AM
Interesting point, catwhowalksbyhimself, but I disagree. First of all, most of the customer reviews on Amazon are true spam. Or spamouflage, I should say: friends of the author camouflaging their reviews to make them look like objective reviews. That's the point I'm trying to make. One shouldn't treat any of the customer reviews on Amazon too uncritically. They should all be treated with suspicion.

Second, I think some of the reviews so far are brilliant. I'm enjoying reading them. They're way more fun to read than normal reviews.

Third, there are real reviews on there from Publisher's Weekly and Booklist, so people shouldn't get too confused.

And finally, the book is a lighthearted guide to fakery. In that sense, the reviews reflect it quite accurately.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Mon Mar 13, 2006  at  10:17 AM
I admit it. I do buy books based on reviews at Amazon. It
Posted by Luc Broos  in  Belgium  on  Thu Mar 16, 2006  at  06:15 AM
I've read all the reviews so far and the one penned by Rocco6025 is by far my fave. Well done.
Posted by C.C.  in  USA  on  Fri Mar 17, 2006  at  08:28 AM
So, who has won the contest???
Posted by Luc  in  Belgium  on  Sun Apr 23, 2006  at  12:38 PM
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