RIP Harriet Klausner: 1952 – 2015

H3Few of us would have recognized her on the street, but thousands of readers recognize the name of Harriet Klausner, who was one of Amazon’s first and most prolific reviewers -- at last count she had published over 31,000 reviews. It is with sadness that we share that Klausner died on October 15th at age 63.

What did she like to read? Pretty much whatever she wanted – with a decided interest, it seems, in romance, thrillers and a little science fiction. In 2006, the year that Time magazine listed her as a person of the year, it was said that the mostly housebound former librarian read four to six books a day. Reviewing Canyons just last month, she called the small press novel by Samuel Western a “profound relationship thriller.”

Mary Higgins Clark’s The Melody Lingers On was “captivating suspense.”

Klausner was the best kind of reader: passionate, opinionated, and always game. She will be missed. 

See all of Harriet Klausner's reviews.


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Comments (24)

Hmmm...Amazon still pretending HK is one person? It's been generally accepted in the book review forums the impossibility of one person reading this many books...much less find the time to review them all (and rarely gave less than 5 stars). If Harriet really was one person...RIP.

Posted by: Denni | Sunday October 25, 2015 at 11:12 PM

May she rest in peace.

Posted by: Amber | Sunday October 25, 2015 at 11:35 PM

Her obituary: http://www.thomasscroggsfuneraldirectors.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=3352890&fh_id=14012&lud=F0084B6E92EEED71F9AD9558CC71DCDC

Posted by: Jane Kansas | Monday October 26, 2015 at 1:40 AM

Harriet Klausner, may you rest in peace. Thankyou for your contributions and a big thanks to Amazon.com for highlighting a wonderful person.

-Mike

Posted by: Mike Tang Yew | Monday October 26, 2015 at 3:05 AM

I'm very sorry this woman passed at such a young age and it is not my intention to disparage her memory... but, she read four to six books a day and posted reviews about them on Amazon? Just a little difficult to believe.

Posted by: Tony | Monday October 26, 2015 at 4:35 AM

I recognized the name from her reviews of suspense novels on both Amazon & Barnes & Noble's websites. I'm sorry to hear of her death.

Posted by: Janet Kay Miller | Monday October 26, 2015 at 5:13 AM

Thank you for the lovely tribute to such a prolific reader/reviewer. Harriet must have assisted thousands of people in choosing what to read next. We owe her a debt, and creating a reviewer "Hall of Fame" and inducting her into it is a nice touch. Just wish I had the time and ability to read four to six books a day!

Posted by: Robert Carlson | Monday October 26, 2015 at 5:52 AM

Dear Ms. Klausner,

May the spirit of your love and passion for those that create live on!

Posted by: KB | Monday October 26, 2015 at 7:01 AM

I came to recognize her name through her many reviews. I'd give a happy sigh of relief when I'd see her name because I knew I could always count on her judgement and thoroughness. I can only imagine what a delight she must have been to those who knew her personally. I hope she gets to RIP but with an ever present stack of 5-star books to read forever.

Posted by: Michelle L | Monday October 26, 2015 at 12:23 PM

Harriet Klausner was one of the first to review my first book, Black Ships, and I am deeply grateful to her as I know she led many people to read it with her kind, thoughtful, and insightful review. I know I always looked for books she had enjoyed when choosing my own reading material.

Posted by: Jo Graham | Monday October 26, 2015 at 1:24 PM

May she rest in peace. What a wonderful tribute that Amazon is doing for her memory!

Posted by: Kristin David | Monday October 26, 2015 at 1:47 PM

this is a sweet tribute. Nicely done Amazon

Posted by: chip | Monday October 26, 2015 at 3:11 PM

Bless her and may she rest well. Sharing back to the community through open and honest reviews, simply speaking from her opinion and heart, is one of the greatest things she could have done to help grow Amazon and guide others towards their own "perfect book."

Posted by: Jason | Monday October 26, 2015 at 3:48 PM

Damn! 31,000 reviews and all that time to live before it finally has to come to a sudden end? She was one amazing reviewer on Amazon, but I guess it's a sad story to see her go all the sudden. Peace out, milady.

Posted by: Shawn Fenn | Monday October 26, 2015 at 4:25 PM

I am sad to hear of her death; I counted on her for thoughtful and useful reviews on so many different kinds of books! Blessings upon her.

Posted by: Anne | Monday October 26, 2015 at 4:50 PM

For those who are doubtful....although I didn't know Ms. Klausner personally, if I were housebound and not working full-time, I could easily read 4-6 books a day and write reviews about them. And I'm not proficient in speed-reading, as appears to be the case from her obituary. (I have been known to read and post several reviews a day on Goodreads -- I only very rarely buy books so don't crosspost to Amazon.)

I hope that I'm never disabled or ill to the point where I couldn't leave my home, but if I were, I can't imagine many better ways to spend my time. RIP, Harriet Klausner.

Posted by: Peebee | Monday October 26, 2015 at 6:26 PM

I will miss Harriet! When I made my first purchase, it was based on her REVIEWS. She was excellent in sharing her opinions and honest reviews on the ebooks I read. --Rest in Peace, Harriet; I will remember you often. Thank You, Amazon, for honor a wonderful person--Harriet Klausner!

Posted by: Lin | Monday October 26, 2015 at 6:31 PM

Rest in Peace, Harriet Klausner. I will miss reading your reviews.

Posted by: Daisy | Monday October 26, 2015 at 8:50 PM

She will be well missed. I often encountered her reviews and always found them of value when considering a book. Condolences to her family and friends

Posted by: Rosheen Arthur | Monday October 26, 2015 at 9:50 PM

Rest in peace, Harriet. Thank you for your contributions to those who read and those who write. You will be missed.

Posted by: Kathy | Tuesday October 27, 2015 at 7:26 AM

When I first started in this business, I met Harriet. She was caring, shared advice and made suggestions. She was always there to offer encouragement or tips. I remember one RWA conference, many years ago, where we had a breakfast in her honor and everyone wore "Harriet Knows" buttons.

To some it seems odd that she could do so many reviews. They likely don't realize she's been doing this for several decades and she was a speed-reader. With so many novels reissued, it was easy to pull out her initial review and post it.

I admired her for many things, but most of all for her kindnesses to those just starting out who needed guidance and advice. That is what I will remember most about her--her kindness.

Posted by: Vicki Hinze | Tuesday October 27, 2015 at 7:53 AM

Harriet reviewed all of my books, beginning with the first back in 1985. She was honest but kind in a review. What a service, a gift, she gave all of us readers. My heart is heavy. The world has lost a light.

Posted by: Curtiss Ann Matlock | Tuesday October 27, 2015 at 10:12 AM

Wow, just found out today that she has passed on. Whenever she reviewed a book and said it was good, it was good. I could always count on her reviews... Was just thinking of her and looked her up and was stunned to see that she is gone.

Posted by: Jennifer Long | Friday January 15, 2016 at 12:01 PM

HK was a sad person. I'm sorry she passed but it's been proven without a shadow of a doubt that ALL she did was regurgitate the synopsis of the mzjority of her review. One book she 'reviewed' the author deliberately created a character with her name. She never mentioned it in her review. She'd even been found to have copied the mistakes of the blurbs on ARCs. I'm sorry for anyone's death. But as you can see if you try and follow the link to her reviews Amazon has removed every single one. She was an embarrassment to people who did their best to write honest reviews. My apologies if this upsets anyone but it's the truth.

Posted by: Voivod | Sunday July 23, 2017 at 3:38 AM

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