What has DOBX been buying lately?

categories: Cocktail Hour


Who is DOBX?  He, as some of you will remember, is the guy who gave my book, Return of the Osprey, a bad review on Amazon.  He also wrote “If I want to reread On Walden Pond, I have a well-thumbed copy,” prompting me to wonder if he had confused Thoreau’s book with Henry Fonda’s movie (sorry, I know it’s bad form to repeat jokes.)

A while back I wrote my very own review–of him–that I have pasted below.  And now I’ve decided to launch a new regular feature for Bill and Dave’s called “What Has DOBX” bought lately?”  (Who says I’m not obsessive?)

As you no doubt remember, DOBX’s recent purchases included a windsock and dog ear cleanser.  And now he has bought a neat new case for his Droid.  He seems to like it just about as much as he liked Return of the Osprey.  And much like with my book, the notches detract from the smooth look.  Ospreys, windsocks, Droid Screen Guards.  Does DOBX hate everything?


Seidio Ultimate Screen Guard - Crystal Clear - 2 Pack for the HTC Droid Incredible 2/S
Seidio Ultimate Screen Guard – Crystal Clear – 2 Pack for the HTC Droid Incredible 2/S
Price: $14.95
Availability: In Stock
9 used & new from $4.52

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I also hate the notches,August 23, 2011
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

The notches really detract from the smooth look I had hoped for. I never use the front facing camera, so I don’t need them. The top left corner didn’t adhere like the rest of the protector and is unsightly.
The feel of the protector is great, and my phone works as if bare glass. I don’t feel any tackiness on the protector.

I have an SGP Ultra Crystal protector on order, but I’m not getting rid of these just yet.


I am confident that a lot of people enjoyed reading my book, Return of the Osprey.  That confidence is based on letters and conversations, and some pretty good reviews.

But one person who clearly did not enjoy the experience was a man who goes by the alias of “Dobx.” In fact Dobx disliked it so much that he chose to reveal his displeasure in a review on Amazon.com.

I have been understating so far: Dobx hated the book.

Here is Dobx’s review:


A poor version of Walden Pond redux, June 3, 2010


Dobx “Dobx”

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

One of Four Stars

This review is from: Return of the Osprey: A Season of Flight and Wonder (Paperback)
We live on a sound on the Outer Banks and erected a nesting box, perhaps 50 feet from our dock, this March. We were fortunate enough to attract a nesting pair who built their nest, and we currently have three chicks in the nest.
I was hoping to get facts about ospreys from the book, but alas instead I got ruminations and regrets and etc. The author really wishes he was an osprey.
I think this is one of the worst books I have ever bought.
If you want osprey facts, simply Google osprey facts and save yourself from the author’s angst.
If I want to reread On Walden Pond, I have a well-thumbed copy.


So that’s the review.

Where to start?

How did my book get to be “one of the worst books” Dobx has ever bought?

Well, let’s break it down:

1.  The book clearly didn’t supply Mr. Dobx with the thing he most wanted: facts.  He compares the book, the product of years of work, unfavorably with a Google search.

And I see his point.  That would certainly be a lot faster than reading.  Also he’s right: there are very few ruminations and regrets and etcs in your average Google search.

2. “The author clearly wants to be an osprey.”  No argument here.

3.  Dobx would prefer to skim his “well-thumbed” copy of On Walden Pond.

Now I’m no Thoreau scholar, but I’m ready to guess that that book, if it exists at all, is not that well-thumbed, or if it is, it got that way without Mr. Dobx reading its title.  I suggest this because he seems to have conflated the work of Henry Thoreau with that of Henry Fonda,  perhaps thinking that the famous author spent his year of solitude On Golden Pond.

(Note to Dobx: the title of Thoreau’s book is Walden.)

4.  I reveal a lot about myself in Return of the Osprey, and apparently that irritates Dobx.  But I find myself wanting to learn a little more about Dobx.  Since he has a house with a dock on the Outer Banks (in the town of Duck) I will assume he is well-off, possibly retired.  A quick review of his other Amazon purchases reveals that the guy loves technology, since most of the other products that he reviews are adapters and electronic gizmos and that sort of thing, but he also wants to know about the wind (he buys wind socks and anenometers—he lives on the Outer Banks after all) and loves his labradoodle (he can’t be all bad) for whom he buys 2 packs of Zymox ear cleanser (the dog is “susceptible to nasty ears and fungi” from swimming in the ocean) and assorted swimming toys like amphibious boomerangs.  (For a full account of Dobx’s purchasing habits you can go here.)

One thing you will learn if you go to that link is that the only thing Dobx hates almost as much as whiny books about ospreys are too tight aviator hats.  Here’s his review:


Red Weatherproof Nylon Trooper Pilot Aviator Trapper Hat for Men and Women
Availability: Currently unavailable
 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:Got a little head?,December 28, 2009Two of Four StarsThis review is from: Red Weatherproof Nylon Trooper Pilot Aviator Trapper Hat for Men and Women (Apparel) Got a Little Head?  If so, it might fit. Wore it once, got a headache, took it to Goodwill. The end.


The picture of this hat did not come through but you can see my drawing of it below or the real thing here.


 Well, as you’ll obviously agree, that’s enough of Dobx.  Of course I realize I got a little bit carried away. But I feel okay about it.  It has always seemed a little unfair to me that these anonymous strangers get to review you, but you don’t get to talk back.  This, then, is my remedy to that problem.  This then is my Amazon revenge.



  1. lucinda kempe writes:

    This was great. A writer’s revenge on a sour (but funny) reviewer. I get it. Now I want to read your book on Ospreys. I also suggest you send this post to McSweeney’s. They’d love it too!

  2. Bill writes:

    No one says you’re not obsessive, David. Love it, a fine commentary on privacy just beneath the bemused surface. What will Dobx review next? With luck, we’ll get his take on Bill and Dave’s.

  3. Tommy writes:

    Hmm, Dobx has a fat head, and high self-esteem. Fascinating! I think I saw him down at the Piggly-Wiggly once reading the celebrity mags. right out of the rack…. without buying them! Oh wait, that was me.