The taste of others, part 3: Eloise

26 Nov

Well, I’m continuing with my fool’s errand, wandering the digital hallways of online reviewing. Looking for gems. As a way to spend ten minutes, it’s satisfying, yet strangely irritating. Not sure why I’m continuing with it. I guess it’s reviews like the one below.

Eloise is a very fine children’s book, one of the finest. Simone loves Eloise. The book has great writing and all manner of subtleties for older readers to sink their teeth into. Eloise is a rich character, funny and mischievous and intelligent and yet often alone, combating her loneliness with imagination.

The titular star, and a terrible role model for decent, god-fearing, obedient little children.

This reviewer disagrees. You can tell he/she means it by the plethora of exclamation points. I’m seeing a pattern in the negative reviews. They seem to fall into two categories. The first is the cautionary response: these books are bad for your children and here’s how they will cause them harm. The second is the close read: these books harbor secret, coded messages of evil, and I’ve figured them out and will now share them with you. Both approaches seem to involve unhealthy doses of rage and disgust. There’s a third approach, which is less common; it deals with a kind of reverse snobbery that goes something like this: “Critics” say this book is good! Well, it sucks!

More to come.

Title: Don’t bother!!! Inappropriate for recommended age group!!!

The book is out of date and inappropriate for children. I don’t approve of adults smoking in the presence of children especially a NANNY! In addition, if a child copied Eloise’s antics, it could put him/her in harms way.

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