The Nook Revolution is coming undone before it even had a fighting chance.

Barnes & Noble's (NYSE:BKS) seemingly revolutionary e-book reading device is getting the cold shoulder from the tech-reviewer elite.

  • "Every one of the Nook's vaunted distinctions from Amazon's Kindle comes fraught with disappointing footnotes," writes David Pogue in The New York Times.
  • "After testing the Nook for about a week, I don't think it's as good as the Kindle, at least not yet," The Wall Street Journal's Walter Mossberg reveals.

Initial shipping delays killed the Nook's chances of legitimately taking on's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle and Sony (NYSE:SNE) this holiday season, but lackluster reviews now threaten the product's viability come next year, too.

Barnes & Noble already had a tight window for a successful launch. The buzz is heavy for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to roll out a reader-worthy tablet device. New reports have surfaced this week that Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) will introduce a tablet with a five-inch screen next year, powered by Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android.

In short, by blowing this holiday season and having to overcome tech-review objections, Barnes & Noble's once-revolutionary reader may not have a legitimate chance until the 2010 holiday season -- and by then, it may be an entirely different ball game.

The Nook's one shot at salvation is that once Barnes & Noble licks its supply problems, it will be able to trumpet its reader to its real-world customers. The superstore chain remains the premier physical hub for fans of the written word, and providing in-store models will help sway skeptical book lovers.

However, even that bricks-and-mortar advantage has a tight window. If Amazon, Apple, or somebody else sets itself as the e-book standard, it will be hard for the Nook to stand out in a strong crowd.

Does Barnes & Noble's Nook stand a chance, even with these initial hiccups? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been shopping online for about as long as has been in business. He owns a Kindle, but he doesn't own shares in any of the companies in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.