Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bad Reviews II

After a few virtuous posts about the importance of being earnest and gentlemanly and resisting the temptation to be snarky, etc.(the recent post about anonymity was particularly soft-headed) it's time to reaffirm my delight in snarkiness. I covered this ground thoroughly in the post about Bad Reviews last year (which someone mentioned here only a day or two ago), but that post was inconclusive, insofar as I was unable to identify a really good trove of bad book reviews (I'm still looking!!) And reviews.summize.com, which a year ago provided some measure of satisfaction, has subsequently been bought and eradicated by Twitter. So I was delighted to see this recent article about Amazon Group Therapy by Cynthia Crossen in the WSJ, which speaks to our contemptible need to curse and commiserate with like minds when we see others getting better than they deserve. Crossen points out the very obvious yet ingenious solution of seeking out Amazon.com customer feedback, and going straight for the 1 star reviews. I looked up DBC Pierre's pretentious bit of drivel Vernon God Little, and was immediately connected with soulmate Steve Cornforth, who writes: Am I only only person who hated this novel with a passion? It was the worst piece of pretentious drivel that I have read since....? No Steve, (rubbing hands vigorously) you are not...!

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