beamjockey (beamjockey) wrote,

Reviewing Hillary

I remember studies by Valdis Krebs a few years back on what we can learn from Amazon's "customers-who-bought-this-also-bought" network of political books. I wonder if this network would be any less polarized, or any less depressing to contemplate, in 2014.

For some reason I recently looked up Hillary Clinton's new book, Hard Choices, on

The 1024 Customer Reviews have a distinctly bimodal distribution:
245 5-star
29 4-star
26 3-star
35 2-star
689 1-star

Every one of the Most Helpful Customer reviews displayed on the main page (for the Kindle edition) is a one-star review, e.g., "Excruciatingly Boring, Overly Long, Insipid Pabulum." (sic)

I read a few, and realized that they'd been penned by reviewers who were politically opposed to Hillary Clinton. So I looked at some of the five-star reviews.

"Yes, the finest fantasy literature in the 21st century." "George R. R. Martin, move over. . . there is a new Mistress of truly Epic Fantasy."


I'd never thought much about this: Amazon's customer reviews are a political battleground. Meta-arguments about reviewing are also erupting there.

Also, the work of those determined to signal, by means of one-star reviews, that this is a horrible book is being undermined by those of their fellow Clinton-bashers who are playing the 5-Star Fantasy Novel joke.

Maybe I'll read some of the 2-star, 3-star, and 4-star reviews to find out how good the book is.
Tags: books, politics
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