The hotly anticipated book by Hillary Clinton was bound to cause controversy.

Within 24 hours, Amazon reportedly removed the reviews of What Happened by 900 people who instead of discussing the work's merits, used the retailer's website to either praise or criticise the former US presidential candidate.

The website Quartz said that according to its analysis, only 338 of the book's 1,600 reviews were by people with verified purchases of the book, via Amazon.com.

While the work could have been bought elsewhere, most Amazon reviews are from people who purchase books on the site.

As an example, among the reviewers were R.J. Parker who wrote: "It's pathetic and immature that Clinton can't accept personal responsibility for her loss. She was a terrible candidate and had a hard time defeating Bernie".

Another reviewer disagreed, saying: "Love this woman in all her candour, playfulness, defiance and brilliance. #ImWithHer #StillWithHer #AlwaysWithHer".

Amazon did not confirm if reviews had been deleted but there were far fewer of them several hours later on Wednesday (13 September), with only 460 left, all verified purchasers, the Telegraph reported.

Jonathan Karp, president of Simon & Schuster, said: "It seems highly unlikely that approximately 1,500 people read Hillary Clinton's book overnight and came to the stark conclusion that it is either brilliant or awful."

In the 469-page book the former first lady compares Donald Trump's presidency to that of the Soviet Union and George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, saying: "for Trump, as with so much he does, it's about simple dominance."

The book, which is already number one in the US Amazon book charts, argues that Trump has created a "war on truth."

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton's new book What Happened has generated reviews on Amazon which may not have been from genuine purchasers, it has been reported.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images