I survived the Joplin tornado--NOT!
October 13, 2011
I was on amazon.com finishing the placement of an order when amazon, consistent with its policy, tried to dazzle me with other things to buy. Well, one of the things that popped up was the suggestion that I buy the book, I Survived the Joplin, Missouri Tornado - May 22, 2011. The author was listed as "KP", and, of course, I wondered why such a secretive name.

I usually check what others have to say about the product that has attracted my eye. In this case I noticed that there were two comments and, oh my, only one star (out of 5).

"I have doubts the person was even here or at least in the tornado part of tow [sic]," writes ryckaya, one of the critics who laments having paid a dollar [99-cents to be exact] to view the book on her or his Kindle. The other negative commenter writes, "Author says only clear skies in the forecast. NOT!!!!!!!!!! There were storms predicted to come in the afternoon and it had been cloudy that afternoon" and concludes, "So this person sounds like a fake."

Understandably, people might be upset over someone trying to make a buck over other people's hardship. "ryckaya" explains having had to search for her kids and to have lost friends and reminds everyone of how monumental the recovery efforts needed to be.

Strangely, this anonymous author allows potential purchasers to use amazon's "click to look inside" the book. Clicking on "Surprise Me!" brings up the first page and on a rarer occasion a page offering a prayer for the Joplin people. One also has the option of viewing the front or back covers but what that seems to reveal, based upon missing quality, is that the author got the photos from a cellphone. They were sent to him or her becomes a possibility.

Anyway, with the option of reviewing a sample of the writing I was able to confirm the criticism without paying a dollar or the full price for the paperback of $12.99. The author does indeed provide the misconception that the forecast had called for "clear skies"...and that there were "no storms on the radar." [Shudda, cudda, wudda: If more people had been heeding the tornado watch instructions provided by the weather bureau they might not have been running errands in collapsible big box stores.]

What I found most amusing was the description of Joplin as a "very typical corn-fed heartland town." Oh, my, does that mean we lack sophistication?...aren't intelligent?...and, maybe, all need to go on a diet?

Well, I guess, we aren't dumb enough not to know, buyer beware. But, perhaps, more of us should protest amazon's decision to include this title in their selection of non-fiction books. I, too, think this author survived the Joplin tornado because he or she wasn't here.

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