The Anthropocene Reviewed: Timely and compelling

Book review: The bestselling novelist John Green’s first non-fiction book covers a vast and fascinating range of topics

American author John Green’s  first non-fiction book, The Anthropocene Reviewed, is packed with knowledge.

American author John Green’s first non-fiction book, The Anthropocene Reviewed, is packed with knowledge.

A new study published last month in the academic journal Nature found that reviews on websites such as Amazon and Yelp have a “positivity problem”, whereby the majority of reviewers award four or five-star ratings despite leaving more detailed negative commentaries underneath the ratings. As an antidote to the hype, the researchers recommend that people pay more attention to the specifics within the commentaries rather than the ratings themselves.  

Who better than the American author John Green to discuss the fault in our stars? In the introduction to his new book The Anthropocene Reviewed, Green says that the five-star scale is largely a product of technological advances; the written word “review” can prove difficult for artificial intelligences, whereas star ratings are ideal. He goes on to talk about “the sudden everywhereness” of the five-star reviewing scale on the internet which led him to the idea of applying the scale to a random selection of topics for a podcast, the critically acclaimed The Anthropocene Reviewed on which this book is based.

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