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A Review of the Reviewers of Columbus Pizza: A Slice of History – A Special Festivus Edition

Posted by CMH Gourmand on December 23, 2021

Hello Loyal CMH Gourmand Reader(s)!

My book, Columbus Pizza: A Slice of History has been out in the world for 13 months.  I am happy to report that I have crossed the $1 per hour threshold for profits.  The book has garnered largely 5 star reviews on Amazon.  Reviewers in other venues are not as generous but still fair.  The toughest reviewers are on GoodReads which makes sense since that is a cadre of book nerds that frequently read books. None of the sites allow me to provide feedback to the reviews so I am using this Festivus blog as my venue to respond to reviews to date.  To those that provided 5 Star reviews, thank you for being kind.  For those of your that provided any review, thank you for helping the inter-web algorithms that sell books.

Columbus Pizza A Slice of History Image

Now to answer the critics.

This is a review from the Columbus Metropolitan Library listing for the book.

Fascinating history of pizza in Columbus. I had to subtract half a point for not including an index; this makes it very difficult to refer back to specific restaurants. I would have enjoyed more reviews on the food, but unfortunately that is not the focus of this book. Looking forward to checking out some new pizzerias!

Dear CML Patron,

Yes, I wish there was an index too, however, History Press is a small company and indexing well costs a fortune.  It also creates a nightmare of extra work when you need to update the book on a shoestring budget and tight timeframe.  The bibliography for the book serves many of the functions of the index by listing what pizzerias were featured in each chapter.  And yes, no reviews of food in a history book.  Opinions on food tend to not be as evergreen (and are much more polarizing) than just stating the facts. For reviews and opinions, please read my Aficionadough column in Columbus Underground.  Thank you for reading the book.

On Amazon, there are a lot of reviews.

Dominic (who later changed his name to Nick)
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, needed an editor though
Reviewed in the United States on July 8, 2021

Really great book to talk about the history of Cbus Pizza. A lot of names I recognized or know. Biggest complaint was that the author isn’t the best at organizing his information. Tended to jump around and overall could have used a better editor. Also he failed to uncover that ________ pizza (who prides themselves in their homemade sausage), bought their dough frozen for years! Might still do it.

Dear (Domi) Nick,

The book is organized in chronological order and chapters list out what years are covered,  you can’t get more organized than that for presenting information. As for jumping around…. again the book is in chronological order by pizzeria. Finally and what puts your review on the Festivus list, it is poor form to take a dig on a local restaurant in a book review, I appreciate your purchase but you get 1 star for the unneeded slight of a local pizzeria.

The other irksome review on Amazon comes from O – So – Fluffy.

osofluffy
3.0 out of 5 stars good but
Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2021

i was disappointed that there wasn’t any info on more of the osu campus area places i remember from college. perhaps they were chains and not local so they didn’t qualify for the book? and unfortunately, all the pictures were black/white. that said, i don’t regret buying it but would not give as gift

OMG, WTF OSOFluffy.  Thanks for the purchase.  Your own review answers your questions / concerns – Yes there are countless pizzerias that resided on OSU for 0 to 10 years I did not write about.  There have literally been 100 on or near campus since 1950, most have come and gone and many were chains.  OSU spots that were mentioned were: Adriaticos, Catfish Biff’s (RIP after the book was published), Papa Joe’s and Tommy’s, that is good representation.  There were a few OSU pizza places I would have liked to include but there was not enough information available.  The one place I wish I could have included, because it was dear to so many, was the Venetian. I do have enough details now, that if I get to update the book in the future, it will be included. I don’t regret you buying the book and I would not trust you buying a gift for someone based on your fear of capital letters and punctuation.  Keep an eye out for my book, Every Pizza Place that Ever Existed, followed by, Every Place OSOFluffy Ate at OSU: A Comprehensive Guide to Mediocrity.

In Goodreads, two reviews mention the word redundant.  All I can say to that is, there is certainly redundancy in the book, but please keep in mind, it is a history book and one can not assume that readers will read the book cover to cover, so on occasion some information was repeated to make sure the context was understood.

I will be the first to admit that the book is good (B), but not great (A).  I outlined some of the challenges I had in writing the book (try writing a history book during Covid sometime and get back to me) in this post when it was released.

I know the book has inspired some positive actions over the last year.  I am aware of at least six groups of people that have decided to try a different place from the book each week until they complete their quest (that is 50 plus places!). Many people have emailed me with fond memories of pizza in Columbus.  For those of you that look down on the pizza offerings Columbus has to offer, let me offer you a cautionary tale.  Countless people who have moved from Columbus to Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and all destinations west of the Mississippi, long for even the most lowly of a Columbus Style Pie and they recognize and appreciate the difference between a classic Columbus Style Pizza and a lackluster pizza that just happens to be cut in squares.

Although Covid has limited my ability to promote the book in the traditional way, I have had the opportunity to discuss it on WOSU twice, online with the Bexley Public Library and in person at the Grandview Public Library as well as a sports podcast and online forums. For those of you that read the book, thank you.  For those that gave it as gifts (even with the shame of black and white photos) thank you.  Most importantly to those that emailed me with your own history, thank you for sharing your stories.

Now for regular Festivus.  My main grievance is directed at the large minority of humanity who made a conscious choice to make a global pandemic worse than it needed to be. They are why we can’t have nice things.  To those that disdain safety protocols, treat service workers like shit, disrupt airline flights, and feed the beast of Fox News I bid you a gigantic fuck you and an endless supply of black coal.

My other grievance is to those that consciously opt out of recycling.  It is not difficult to recycle in Columbus and it is not rocket science to recycle correctly.  If you can make one positive pizza change in 2022 remember that the box top of the greasiest pizza is still recyclable so cut it off and put it in your blue can.

For those of you not in the above categories, I wish you a happy holiday and better 2022.

3 Responses to “A Review of the Reviewers of Columbus Pizza: A Slice of History – A Special Festivus Edition”

  1. Pam McGlone said

    I can’t wait to hear about The Venetian Lounge. During my OSU days (1968-1972), that was our favorite campus pizza place. My other favorite pizza place was Leonardo’s on Morse Rd as my family lived blocks away. If you notice, both of these places put the cheese on top of the pepperoni (my favorite pizza was/is just a pepperoni pizza)! Even if I request the cheese on top today, it’s just not the same as Venetian or Leonardo’s! Thank you for your book, I enjoyed it and gave it as a Christmas gift last year.

  2. J Tipton said

    If you love Columbus pizza this book does a masterful taking back in time . Great read. Loved it.

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