Renowned television journalist Barkha Dutt’s book, This Unquiet Land – Stories from India’s Fault Lines, which hit the shelves around two weeks back, has an unusually high number of reviews on Amazon. 

Out of the 3338 customer reviews on the site (at the time of writing this), 3268 users awarded it with a paltry one star. With an overall rating of 1.1 stars and only around 100 users giving it a positive rating, this is a book that has managed to attract quite some attention. Out of all the reviewers on Amazon, a mere 38 were marked as verified purchasers. 

Could this mean all the other 3300 people logged on to Amazon just to review the product for future buyers or is it simply a conspiracy targeting her?

This is what the review page looks like.


All the reviews almost have a similar tone to it. Rather than talking about the contents in the book or pointing out what exactly makes the book bad, many reviewers have resorted to ad hominem attacks – sometimes calling her names, sometimes demanding their money back, and sometimes borderline comic.

This is what Barkha Dutt had to say about it

So the ‘bhakts’ and trolls have decided in their pathetic way to try and target me on Amazon by down rating This Unquiet…

Posted by Barkha Dutt on Wednesday, December 16, 2015

According to Amazon’s Review Guidelines, only those people who have purchased items from Amazon can review the product. Sadly, given the numbers, this is untrue. Apart from the doubt on the authenticity of both users and their reviews, the question that pops up is, should the reviews be allowed, if not verified? It also makes us wonder – do all Chetan Bhagat bashers actually read his books?

Trolls or not, the book is the third bestseller in the politics category. 

This is what Amazon has to say about it.

Maybe it is time to engage in genuine reviews. What say, Amazon?