A classic? This ain’t no stinkin’ classic! (update)

UPDATE: A few more reviews to see if you can guess #3.

Even the greats get one-star reviews at Amazon.com. Can you guess the books?

(1) “I fail to see why this book is such a literary rave. It’s the story about spoiled rich people with no meaning to their lives. If this is the best of the author’s works, I won’t read any more of his books.”

“That book was the poorest excuse for literature I ever had the displeasure of reading. I did read it twice, but each time, I was disgusted with it. The characters in the story were worthless wastes of human flesh. (Female character) was a ditz, (main character) himself was a possessive stalker and everyone else didn’t have enough brains to realize that they were all being used!”

(2) “I have been a voracious reader for 54 years…since I was 3 years old and I think that this is one of the WORST books that I have ever read. I only read it because it was required reading by my daughter in high school and I had never read it. I still can’t figure out why the school system would want teenagers to read that indiscriminate sex and taking drugs is the preferred state of existence. I certainly don’t think that they would understand that subliminal message about not rebelling against authority or you will die.”

“This book had many, many good ideas that COULD have made for a very thought provoking and entertaining read, but a plot is never fleshed out and there is no character development. Unfortunately, it was utterly UN-entertaining on every level! It’s good (ideas) till they go to the Savage Reservation then it completely nose-dives into BORING!!! Ideas without a story. I recommend reading the first ~25% of the book then lighting it on fire.”

(3) “Why is it that people are so caught up in praising others that they don’t even realize that what they are praising as epic is nothing but a long winded speech about nothing. That is what this book is. A very long boring winded speech about nothing.”

“I hated this book with a passion. I didn’t like the main character. I also didn’t like the fact that he didn’t have a name. My teacher told us that he didn’t have a name because (the author) wanted him to be universal. I mean it is hard to believe that it took all those hardships for him to ‘find’ himself. Is anyone that naive? I hope not.”

“This novel, while great with “technical” things like image, style, place, and the use of jazz in language, didn’t have anything to say. (The author) spends so much time trying to tell the reader what the black man is not that he doesn’t stop long enough to tell us what the black man is or could be given the chance.”

“This book was impossibly surreal. It made no sense. It was strange and bizarre and rambling. I was forced to read it by my English teacher and couldn’t believe the utter lack of interesting, believable plot. I was also very sad that this book was so long. If a book is going to be bad, why can’t it also be short? I do not understand.”

(4) “This is without question the worst book I’ve ever read in my entire life. The style is clumsy though the author strives to impress with an aristocratic pompousness so typical of social climbers of her day … It doesn’t surprise me that her original manuscript was rejected as it should have been and now I wonder to what extent politics played a role in her eventual success?”

“I tried really hard to see what people love about the book. I cannot see it. There is no true love in the book, the characters are shallow and there is absolutely no story. It talks through the entire book of these five sisters marrying. I think that they are all pompous and rather annoying.”

• • •

“Signs and Wonders” publishes in two weeks (Aug. 2).


Filed under On writing

10 responses to “A classic? This ain’t no stinkin’ classic! (update)

  1. I think the last one is Pride and Prejudice but I’m not sure. I wanted to say the first one was Twilight and then remembered we were talking about litarary greats! What really made me laugh was “I did read it twice but…” HAHAHAHAHAHA

  2. 1 – I Capture The Castle?
    2- Slaughterhouse 5?
    3- ???
    4- Pride and Prejudice? Little Women?

    Not quite sure on these. To be fair, I can think of a few classics I’d review in the same way. Classic doesn’t mean everyone will like the novel.

  3. I’m not sure about numbers 1 and 3, but 2 is Brave New World by Huxley, and 4 is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Is number 1 something by Dickens?

  4. Is number 1 The Great Gatsby maybe? I guessed 4 correctly, but hadn’t got 2, and have no idea about 3.
    This is a great post! Good luck with the new book too.

    • You’re right about number 1, Stephanie — it’s The Great Gatsby.

      Number three is yet to be solved. I’ll post a few more “reviews” later today if no one has figured it out by then …

  5. meredith

    #3 is “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison

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