Armagideon Time

Doi bomb

February 10th, 2014

The wife was checking out Amazon reviews for B.J. Novak’s new book when she stumbled across this one-star wonder…

…by user “Chris Roberts” from Brooklyn, web NY.

In her understandable bafflement, here she went on to check out Mr. Roberts’ other nuggets of critical wisdom

…twenty pages’ of pretenious poesy delivered as one-star reviews for high-traffic products of a literary bent.

While the vagaries of Poe’s Law makes it difficult to discern a dadaist masterstroke from the pathetic mewlings of an arch-wannabe, I’m leaning toward the latter interpretation. One of the less pleasant consequences of the “Web 2.0” era has been the insidious feedback loop which rewards memetic hooks over real or imagined talent, where many folks with something worthy to say find themselves laboring in obscurity while some vapid hack rides a second-hand gimmick to fame, fortune, and a book deal.

So is it very strange that some narcissitic poetry slam casualty would choose to attach themselves, lamprey-like, to the bellies of more prominent authors, gaming a commercial portal’s review system and basic human curiosity to direct eyes upon his sophomoric nonsense?

It’s tawdry and depressing, but not at all surprising. I expect Slate will give him his own review column in the near future.

2 Responses to “Doi bomb”

  1. sallyp

    Egad, what pretentious dreck!

  2. John DiBello

    Once upon a time, Amazon was responsive to publishers and authors quite reasonably asking that reviews—both positive and negative—which have nothing to do with the book or product at hand, or even admit that they haven’t read the book, and Amazon would remove the review. Their Customer Review terms of service quite clearly spells out what is allowed and what isn’t.

    These days, it’s exceedingly difficult to have a Customer Review removed, for any reason, and a number of books and products have their ratings decreased because of joke or “creative” reviews. So say it’s funny and that it’s “art,” I say it’s spinach, and to hell with it.

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