I am well aware that amazon reader reviews are no guarantee of a book’s value. But when it comes to books that are critical of religion I have developed an almost fool proof way of using reviews to guide my purchasing decision.
The following is an excerpt from a 1 star review of MacCoby’s book penned by a Christian. I found it invaluable.
“It would be easier to believe the "scholarship" of a book like this were it not for the blatant bias of the author."
Read that last sentence again. Note the assumption made by this Christian reviewer - a "skeptic who became convinced (became a believer)" is by definition less likely to "slant evidence" to fit his viewpoint and agenda than someone who doesn't hold Christian belief. What’s the basis for that inference? By my experience there is none. It's simply the Christian reviewer’s prejudice toward non-Christians.
Bottom line: when considering a book critical of their religion let the angry Christian reviewer guide your purchase. They rarely steer you right.