The Unintentional Comedy of Bad Amazon Reviews

bookreviewUser generated content is one of pillars of the social web.

Without the forces of user-generated content there would be no such thing as Rotten Tomatoes, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and dozens of other social destinations.

Imagine YouTube without contributed content?

It would be a completely different experience.

Content – from everyone – is what makes social media amazing. But it is also the source of incredible high comedy – especially when it comes to reviews.

No doubt user reviews work great and are extremely valuable for things like vacuum cleaners and hotels. It’s quite another thing for things that require a bit of expertise – like art and literature.

Case in point. The bad reviews of classic literature on

There are few guilty pleasures better than perusing the ungrammatical and clueless opinions of reviewers that claim Mark Twain and Nathaniel Hawthorne don’t know “good” writing.


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

From LaNelle:

“I just did’t like the story. Actuall remembered I have never been a Mark Train fan. He stories are so contrived and stylized and the characters are flat.”

From A Customer:

“Classic shmassic. Its hard to read this book without being affected by everyone’s uplifting appraisals beforehand. The notion that its a great book is practically shoved down our throats from grade school on. But the truth is, its boring. I think most people are afraid to even venture a slightly negative opinion in the midst of so many opposing views, so they praise it all the more. Maybe I would’ve liked it more if I hadn’t been told so much that I would. Ah well.”

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

From Caity:

“Worst book ever. I hated this book because it was hard to under stand what it is all about because of the weird words that they say.”

From Ho Hum Ho:

“Well, mates. I must say the first few chapters were interesting and I was really expecting something to happen to keep my interest but the ship sunk for me. About 3/4 left to read I really had to row hard to get through it…….boring. Maybe for kids its ok. Don’t recall any profanity.”

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

From Kate:

“Three words to describe my feelings of this book…I HATE IT. Hawthorne’s writings are dull, dry, and other words that mean bad that start with D. The character’s a boring.”

From A Customer:

“I agree 100% that Hawthorne was a brillaint writer. But this book was horrible. A simple phrase of action (Hester walking down the street) would be 4 pages of reflection. I read alot and am a huge fan of John Steinbeck, J.D Salinger, Mark Twian. I hated this book. It was took long and nearly impossible to read. If you have to read it for school, good luck. Otherwise, avoid this. There are much better classics than this.”

Dubliners by James Joyce

From K. Reade:

“Arguably the most boring book ever written, Joyce excels here in causing premature napping in most of his readers. If he’s not describing the cobblestone archways or the giant marshmallow who lives down the street, he is trying to convince us that Dublin is in Ireland. I’m not biting.”

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

From John Benintendi:

“First, let me tell say that I began this book with high hopes since it considered a masterpiece. However, not 100 pages into the book, I kept asking myself why this book is considered a masterpiece. After finishing it, I am still asking myself that very question. I don’t have an answer since this book was certainly not worth the time and effort to read it…”

From Hawkbeak:

“I’m afraid to say that I actually couldn’t even get past chapter three in this book. The author is garrulous and can’t get to the point. For example, he will begin to describe a character but adds so much extra stuff that you forget what the subject was in the first place. Brian Jacques is a descriptive author who makes sense, unlike Herman.”


Revenge of the Amateur

The Web Isn’t an Expert

2 Responses to “The Unintentional Comedy of Bad Amazon Reviews”

  1. Thank you for writing what so many others are feeling.

  2. I’m glad I hit a nerve with you!

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