However, I think the authors of the piece are on to something when they note a lack of nuance in much of today's reviewing. I'm not entirely sure that things have gotten "nastier" so much as gotten a lot less subtle. Bitchiness used to be an artform; one had to quick and clever. As the authors opine,
Alas, there are few contemporary reviewers who can match Oscar Wilde's put-down of French novelist Émile Zola: "Monsieur Zola is determined to show that if he has not genius, he can at least be dull." Or Dorothy Parker's much-quoted lampoon of a book under review: “This is not a novel to be tossed lightly aside. It should be thrown with great force.”Nowadays, people just degenerate down to the schoolyard school of criticism (e.g. "You suck!").
But, again, what do I know?