Be advised, however: this is just a collection of Web site reviews approximately the same way The Divine Comedy is just a bunch of notes from Dante's dream journal. Highly opinionated (verging on warped), these speed-typed, barely edited write-ups only occasionally provide a straight-line glimpse of the sites they purport to critique. More often the review is a pretext for a deranged rant about evil alien show dogs, an erotic reverie on getting turned on by Archie comics as a child, or some other peek into the oddly charming inner lives of cousins Scharff and Hyams.
Lamentably, the sheer quantity of reviews gathered here, combined with the authors' off-the-cuff, Web-native style, means the reviewers' efforts themselves often deserve their own most lukewarm rating: Not Quite. But Hyams' brother Matt's humorous interludes (trippy riffs on, say, obscure mail-order products or U.S. diplomatic efforts to get a look at Saddam Hussein's nether regions) are never less than laugh-out-loud hilarious. And overall, the reviewers hit their marks too, providing a sharply personal snapshot of the Web that earns them their own highest praise: this book is Fierce. --Julian Dibbell