News & Politics

Amazon Reviews Give Hillary Book 5 Stars: 'So I Don't Get Straight Up Murdered'

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds up a book entitled "Stronger Together" as she speaks at the 11th Congressional District Labor Day festival at Luke Easter Park in Cleveland, Ohio, Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

In many circles, the Clintons are notorious for having enemies who mysteriously disappear at the opportune moment. Amazon.com reviewers played on this theme in mocking “5 Star” reviews of Hillary Clinton’s unpopular new flop of a campaign book — which even at the low, low price of $10, people seem resolute not to buy for some inexplicable reason. That doesn’t stop people from buying Clinton insurance by giving the book stellar reviews.

Amazon user Amy gave Stronger Together a “5.0 out of 5 stars,” with a brief review entitled, “I want to live.” Her review proved rather succinct: “Nothing new here. The book is full of lies, just like Hillary. I’m leaving a five star review so I don’t get straight up murdered.” As of Sunday, 554 people had “found this helpful” on Amazon.

Amy’s review was far from alone. The vast majority of 5-star reviews proved ironic and hilarious, and many hit on the same Clinton insurance theme. Here are a few examples:

“Five Stars” by anonymous Amazon customer: “I gave this book a five star review because I dont [sic] want to end up having committed suicide.” 83 people found this helpful.

“Left you 5 stars, now please don’t have me killed Hillary.” by Aristotle: “Giving this 5 stars because I don’t want to wind up as part of Killary’s body count. First off, I did want the audio version but was disappointed that it wasn’t compatible with my hidden earpiece but I thought to myself ‘What difference does it make’…” 69 people found this helpful.

Many reviews also made less morbid jokes at Clinton’s expense.

“I would like to thank Hillary for printing this all in blue …” by Zotted FReeper: “First off, I would like to thank Hillary for printing this all in blue ink because the color blue helps prevent my seizures. … The only issues I had with the book were all of the annoying ‘C’ markings in the margins. At under $10 it’s a bargain, considering that Saudi Princes pay millions of dollars for such insight.” 929 people found this helpful.

“Best weight loss technique!” by Cathy Jo: “I was THRILLED to see the book finally out! I’ve been trying to drop a size to fit into a dress for a wedding at the end of the month, and from page one this has kept me SO nauseated I haven’t been able to keep ANYTHING down! I couldn’t be bulimic on my own – I really am a coward when it comes to self-induce puking – but this has made it SO EFFORTLESS.” 153 people found this helpful.

Many reviews also gave the book only 1 out of 5 stars (83 percent of reviewers gave the book only 1 star, while only 14 percent gave it 5 stars). Here is a segment from the top 1 star review:

“Health Warning!” by chjhorses: “Pre-ordered an autographed copy but had to return it after this week’s announcement as I was worried it was contaminated with pneumonia bacteria. I didn’t want to end up exposed to the illness like her grandkids in Chelsea’s apartment she was playing with on 9/11 after she collapsed, or the little girl she was hugging in the street afterwards.

“Thought about ordering the Kindle version but I thought it might open my device up to being hacked by communist countries. I wasn’t too surprised to see Tim Kaine on the front cover giving the traditional National Socialist salute, it felt fitting. Strongly recommended for those who believe the USA isn’t anything special and should be more like the peaceful utopias of North Korea, Iran, or Cuba.” 930 people found this helpful.

Next Page: My personal favorite, a 5 star reviewer from a Clinton foundation donor…

And my personal favorite.

“This book is a key that unlocks doors to life!” by DB: “What a fantastic book! I see that Amazon has this for under $20, but I paid slightly more. I bought this directly from the Clinton foundation for $3.5 million. Once I read this book it’s like everything in my life clicked. The state department released funds from an “associate” of mine who for some odd reason was mistakenly put on the terrorist watchlist. He then invested in my ‘housing development’ project in Saudi Arabia. Also 14 of my relatives were able to get permanent resident status and my niece got a job at a US Embassy! … I hope this book has an audio version because I would love to pay for play…ing it.” 427 people found this review helpful.

In general, I do not like the trend for social media reviews to be less about the actual product, company, or book and more a way to mock or attack someone. When Memories Pizza let slip that it would not cater a gay wedding, hundreds of people took to Yelp to leave negative reviews. When a dentist poached a Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, the Internet outrage not only left his practice with negative Yelp reviews, it resulted in death threats to his person, and stuffed lions outside his office.

These Stronger Together reviews are hilarious, but they are still part of the problem. If Stronger Together were really an excellent book — or certifiably a horrible one — people looking on Amazon would never know. Amazon reviews exist to provide information about the product sold, and are a helpful tool for consumers to protect one another from bad deals, or to direct each other to good products.

As fun as it is to enjoy these reviews, they distract customers from the quality of products. If sales are any guide, Hillary’s new book is indeed of low quality, but I harbor serious doubts that any of those leaving reviews have actually read the book.

Since this is a political book, the comparison to Memories Pizza and the lion poacher may not be entirely fair, but the ultimate problem is the same. Where does a reader go for honest opinions of Stronger Together, and whether it’s really worth $9.80? I guess we might get an answer this November.