Today I finished my book, The Stoning of Soraya M, and as is my usual practice, I went to see what other readers of the book thought. My big mistake was starting with the Amazon reviews of this book (actually, I was so disgusted I didn't look at others and turned off my computer for the day).I won't go into specifics, but I looked at several reviews where people's comments were just downright nasty. Beyond nasty. Someone made a comment that said something about the fact that laws about stoning exist in Muslim scriptures, which was followed by someone else telling them they were stupid and knew nothing about Islam. Then that was followed by a lot of anti-Islamic rhetoric and things just heated up from there. Someone who tried to take a middle-of-the-road stance was blasted for being too far left politically. It made me wonder if people like myself are a dying breed: people who really just like to read and want to sometimes share their opinions about the book itself in case anyone else was ever planning to read it (which is what I thought the purpose of book reviews were). Why must anyone feel compelled to be downright nasty in responding to what someone says? It has almost scared me off even thinking about writing a review of this book anywhere, including here in my reading journal. I'm still thinking about whether or not to write it. Of course, here I have the option of filtering remarks, but it wouldn't stop them from coming in if someone didn't like what I had to say about this book.
It's like this pretty much anywhere where people can make comments or where people can speak their minds. They hide behind their anonymity and feel free to make ugly statements about anyone or anything. Don't get me wrong. People do have the right to say whatever they want. I object to the utter meanness and nastiness coming out, calling people names and getting in other people's faces when they disagree. I mean, who ARE these people? Are they small-minded individuals whose voice doesn't really matter anywhere else so they have to put in their two cents worth in an anonymous forum? Or are they like this all of the time, unpleasant and venomous, not giving a crap about what anyone else thinks about them? Do they go to bed at night thinking "I showed him/her! Hah!" God help anyone who tries to make a point with this people. It's like watching the Jerry Springer show unfolding in a forum sometimes. There's no intelligent debate...it's a case of "my way or the highway," or "if I wanted your opinion I'd beat it out of you." And all of this over a book???????? It's just ridiculous.