Clever public reviews of products on Amazon has become something of a pass-time for more individuals that I would have thought. For example, reviews of this banana slicer, for which there are 4,530 reviews, are quite entertaining, or for this excellent book How to avoid huge ships we find terrific (and humorous) reviews by members of the public. On How to avoid huge ships, for example, we see this review titled “Reads like a whodunnit“:
I bought How to Avoid Huge Ships as a companion to Captain Trimmer’s other excellent titles: How to Avoid a Train, and How to Avoid the Empire State Building. These books are fast paced, well written and the hard won knowledge found in them is as inspirational as it is informational. After reading them I haven’t been hit by anything bigger than a diesel bus. Thanks captain!
Or, this classic:
it didn’t work for me. i still got hit by a huge ship. i can’t recommend this book at all.
While these are entertaining … what about this one about Latour?
Anglophone readers probably don’t realise that Latour meant this book as a tongue-in-cheek exercise to capture the postmodern social theory market in his own country by using a postmodern style to show what an illusion postmodernism has always been. But, as fate would have it, when someone sneezes in Paris, an Anglophone is felled with pneumonia. It’s hard to believe that anyone with a firm grasp of the history of the last 250 years of Western culture would find this book anything more than a diversion worthy of maybe a couple of arguments in the pub. It’s telling that historians of science, who are really the people who are in a position to hold Latour accountable to anything he says here, have given the book a chilly reception. Classify this one under ‘Pseud’s Corner’.
Does anyone know if that is true, that WHNBM was just a semi-clever joke?