Miraculously, unlike Fisking Central, Tim Worstall missed this gem of a Comment Is Fatuous article today, one that neatly combines economic illiteracy, snobbery, and a reassuringly ethnic byline. It’s sad that an interesting question is obscured by article’s stupidity.

But he didn’t miss this collection of Amazon reviews of Great Works, which should appeal more to those of us who specialise in intellectual snobbery. The Great Gatsby, for example, is dismissed by one customer like this:

“If Fitzgerald had written this book properly … it would have been EXACTLY two sentences long – ‘I’m rich’ and ‘Oh, boo hoo’. The plot line resembles an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 (namely ‘Let’s sit around and whine about being rich. Next we’ll get drunk and call each other names, fight, and run each other over!’ SHUT UP ALREADY!) I can rarely can say this, but I HATE HATE HATE HATE this book! FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK IF YOU CAN HELP IT!”

1984 gets this:

“The fall of Communism has erased nearly every trace of relevance this book may once have had.”

The Grapes of Wrath:

“This book was 600 pages written purly about a bunch of hicks from Oklahoma starving. Thanks, but no thanks.”

In the comments, someone draws attention to something far more disturbing: positive reviews of lousy books. Take this of The Da Vinci Code: Special Illustrated Edition—no, please, take it:

“I received the Illustrated edition of Da Vinci Code for my birthday and I am so glad I read this edition. It was very helpful to have the works of art to see as I read, made it the code much clearer. In fact, I can’t imagine reading this book with out the illustrations. The novel it self is awesome, edge of your seat thriller/mystery. I’d never read any thing like it. “The Da Vinci Code” Has been my favorite thriller reads of 2005!”

Combining both, I recommend that you also read some of the reviews of Underworld: Evolution at Rotten Tomatoes. Despite also being directed by latex-clad lead Kate Beckinsale’s husband, Len Wiseman, I can honestly say this film is less rubbish than its predecessor, but that didn’t restrain the criterati:

“‘Underworld: Evolution’ was a huge step up from the first film. But then again, there wasn’t really much room to get any worse.
— Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures

“Evolution without a shred of intelligent design”
— Ben Kenigsberg, Village Voice

“A more appropriate title is ‘Underworld: Stagnation'”
— Lisa Rose, Newark Star-Ledger

“So this is what eternal damnation feels like.”
— David Frese, Kansas City Star

“utterly stupid”
— Rich Cline, Shadows On The Wall