Why are bad reviews so popular?
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Even one of my more negative reviews, I've only done a few negatives, is second on my list of thumbed up reviews.
Any thoughts or theories?
1. Bad reviews tend to be more informative.
2. Bad reviews tend to be funnier.
3. Bad reviews of popular books tend to stand out.
4. If a book's very popular and you share that person's negative evaluation of the book, there's a sense of solidarity.
I think there's also the fact that they are negative reviews of popular books. If you've read a book that everyone else is raving about and found it disappointing, you're probably going to feel a little frustration. Sometimes it's difficult to articulate what you find disappointing in a book, and when everyone else seems to like it, it's easy to feel as if maybe you're just not getting something. So when you read a review that really pulls that work to pieces, not only do you feel like someone else shares your opinion, but they often manage to verbalize/conceptualize frustrations that you couldn't quite put your finger on. Or at least that's my experience.
First off, they're reviews of popular books, so more people are going to be looking at and have opinions on those than on something more obscure. Personally, I usually find negative reviews (though not necessarily those that have made it onto the hot reviews page) to be more informative and more interesting than positive reviews because especially in the case of popular books that everyone else seems to love, the reviewer is often trying to come to terms with just why he or she didn't like it. That makes for much more interesting reading to me than - omg! This book changed my life, it was so good...
So I'm often more likely to thumbs-up a negative review - provided it doesn't strike me as mean...
(and I think CarlosMcRey hit on some really good points as well)