Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


Buyer Beware: Malicious reviews on

One of the very best features of, one of the reasons that it's a tremendously successful online bookstore, is that anyone who wants can post a book review. No longer the exclusive purview of The New York Times Review of Books, Amazon lets anyone become a book reviewer, attaining the promise of a truly egalitarian online society. But, like anything else, there's a dark side to the open nature of online reviews, and when the following messages from two of my favorite authors arrived in my mailbox, I asked them if I could republish their notes. They said yes, so here's what Robert Bruce Thompson shared:

Now I'm pissed. Ordinarily I shrug off bad reviews, but I just read one on Amazon posted today for my book Building the Perfect PC, which has 35 reviews averaging five stars....