"I tend to use Amazon more as a resource about books than to actually purchase books."
First of all, I would like to thank Jeannette Demain for starting her blog post on Salon with this statement about an eminently sensible way to use the ubiquitous e-commerce site. (I believe many of our customers use Amazon for exactly this purpose.)
What Demain goes on to discuss is one of the most famous -- or infamous -- aspects of any webpage for a book on Amazon: the reviews. These, of course, can be written by anyone -- anonymously if they so choose -- whether they have bought the book or not, or even whether they have read the book or not. Thus, if your Uncle Fred has recently published his collected grocery lists you can praise that book to the skies and give it five stars. On the other hand, you can take deeply felt, or gratuitous, pot shots at all-time classics, and it is this latter phenomenon that Demain writes about here, complete with examples. There is the person who describes Jane Eyre with the quote used in the title of this blog post. The Grapes of Wrath is declared, "absolute tripe," and Where the Wild Things Are has "good graphics" but "the message is all wrong." A review of The Bible manages to reference both The Lord of the Rings and Miley Cyrus. My favorite, though, is this comment regarding A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: "This book is 3 words over and over again: MY LIFE IS BAD." I hope this reviewer doesn't decide to start commenting on math textbooks.
Bitter students, trolls or courageous renegades declaring that the literary emperors have no clothes? You can reach your own conclusions and read more here.