Downvotes galore

Author Elyse Salpeter grumbles about one-star book reviews on Amazon and such:

Most of the time if you see someone post a one star review they are either a troll (a person out to simply be vindictive to that author, or they just want to make a nasty statement to hurt someone). Why do I say this? Because if you READ the review, you’ll realize the reader many times NEVER even read the book, didn’t go more than two pages, reviews another book and mixed them up, or is upset that they thought they bought a romance and got a thriller. I kid you not. I’ve seen people give one star reviews because they bought a book in the wrong genre and are blaming the author. I saw another person give a book a one star review because they bought Book #5 or #6 in an epic series and were upset they didn’t know the history of the series because they never purchased the other previous novels.

Now, I’m not saying people aren’t entitled to say they hated a book, but make sure the review is solid. Is it poorly written? Filled with grammatical errors? Did they not like the plot or heroine? If there is a solid reason for that one star, okay, if not move on.

Some of these people have never even seen the book; they’re simply following instructions from whatever hive mind assimilated them.

I tend to be relatively forgiving myself — I’ve never given out a single-star review — but I’m also not convinced that I’m the final authority on such matters.

And anyway, it’s not just books:

People giving reviews for medications. The big thing I noticed is that most people claiming one star reviews over-medicated themselves each and every time and were trashing the products for the side effects. One medication said take 1-3 pills with lots of water. (and to START with one) These people went right ahead and claimed they took three pills and were upset they got very bad side effects like their insides were about to explode. Even when the packaging said that you should start with one, but you CAN take up to three if your symptoms keep persisting. I saw one star after one star review, all of these people took too much medication and then blamed the product. Others already have problems where they shouldn’t even take this product in the first place, others didn’t drink enough water, milk, food, with the medications and blamed the product. It’s odd to me that people will feel this need to post in this fashion. Where is their own responsibility in this? People must be participatory in their own healthcare issues. Be smart.

Which is odd, since a lot of those book reviewers, to me at least, seem insufficiently medicated.

You can imagine what sort of contumely (not to be confused with cilantro) is heaped upon recipes.



  1. fillyjonk »

    18 August 2015 · 9:38 am

    Back when I bothered to read Amazon reviews, I found that a lot of the “classics” got one-star reviews, and it turned out these were from high school kids (or similar) made to read them in class.

    Which made me wonder if it was part of the assignment somehow. If I hated a book I’d probably just move on and not bother to say anything about it. (It is a little weird to find a really scathing, hateful review of a book that was very important to you and kind of changed your life when you read it….)

  2. miniapplejack »

    18 August 2015 · 10:59 am

    True story, several years ago, my mother once grabbed a large amount of cilantro to put on some tacos because she thought it was a dark green lettuce. Needless to say, it was hilarious in the retelling but not so much at the time.

  3. Lynn »

    18 August 2015 · 11:46 am

    Yeah, one star reviews are often hilarious. On many of them it is so clear that the reviewer had no idea how to use the product or sometimes even what the product is. We once bought a couple of “barn lights”. These are clearly meant to be installed – connected directly to a building’s wiring – but many of the reviewers complained that the wire didn’t have a plug on the end to plug it into a wall.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a comment