Everything and Less: The Novel in the Age of Amazon

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Amazon has taken over the book-selling business, influenced the tastes of the reading audience, and orchestrated marketable writing styles, a practice bemoaned here for its pernicious effect on the literary world. In this rather lengthy diatribe bewailing the domination of Bezos’s company in the literary arena, Stanford University literature professor Mark McGurl dissects the strategies employed to capture the reading marketplace and influence the publishing world.

From the Kindle e-reader to Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon has provided easy and inexpensive access to reading material. Through electronic devices, the company collects data not only on purchases but also on the public appetite for specific genres. Authors freely publish without critical editing, encouraged to act as entrepreneurs to cater to the tastes of the customers. The sales history of Fifty Shades of Grey has served as the online model for the erotica that currently clogs the Kindle offerings.

While chastising Amazon and especially its founder Jeff Bezos for modifying the prevailing literary status, this bombastic repetitious diagnosis of the changes makes for a tiresome read. And consider, if Amazon did not forge these changes, some other capitalist mogul would have effected similar revisions.

Reviewed By:

Author Mark McGurl
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Verso
Publish Date 19-Oct-2021
ISBN 9781839763854
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Issue November 2021
Category Books About Books