Friday, July 24, 2020
Guess These (Almost) Universally-Beloved Books by Their 1-star Reviews
You can’t please everybody. Even if you’re Shakespeare. See if you can guess whose manager these unhappy customers want to speak to.
The book cover collage above will serve as your “word bank.” Each cover pictured here is one of the books described below, so you just have to figure out which is which. Answers and commentary at the bottom.
It should go without saying that these reviews do not reflect the views of this author.
1. “This was worse than a textbook. This was a textbook that came with the annoying, opinionated professor built in! [...] This book is so bad it has two epilogues. That right there should be warning enough to you to stay far, far away from [title]. I wish I had never picked this up. I am an angrier, more cynical person for it. If [author] wasn't already dead, I would wish him so.” (Goodreads review)
2. “Though I know, logically, that he [main character] really is in a pretty awful situation, it's really hard to feel bad for him when all he does is whine. The plain truth is that there are plenty of non-fictional people who have dealt with more difficult things with much less complaining. [...] It did get easier to bear once he started pretending to be crazy, though.” (Goodreads review)
3. “I give this book as a gift to people I hate.” (Goodreads review)
4. “Ok...this guy needed help…” (Goodreads review)
5. “It's an awful and depressing story with no redeeming qualities. And don't forget the drunk driving! Pfft.” (Amazon review)
6. “There is no conflict in this book. There's no personality. There's nothing interesting that compels me to read more. [...] As soon as I am done with this sorry excuse for a book, I am either going to tend to my fireplace using the pages as kindling or stash this book in the far corners of my basement where it will live out the rest of its days in darkness..” (Goodreads review)
7. "I read the first few pages and they weren't too bad then I was listening to the audio version & kept rewinding b/c I thought I wasn't getting it b/c it was weird so I went back to reading it, well it was still too weird for me." (Goodreads review)
8. “Instead of reading this book, drink vodka in a dark room and think depressing thoughts. That will give you about the same experience and you'll have a better time.” (Goodreads review)
9. “For several pages a lady remarks to a man about what wonderful handwriting he has. Not exactly gripping material.” (Goodreads review)
10. “Then there are all those epic mandudes doing long-winded yet epic mandude things at an excruciating pace.” (Goodreads review)
11. “Why must this book be so vomitous? It even starts off in this fashion - let us give our dinner to the poor, because we are so wonderful! Fuck off. Just... fuck off.” (Goodreads review)
12. “Symbolism, symbolism, symbolism, but no story, story, story.” (Goodreads review)
1. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy. Geeze, what did Tolstoy ever do to you.
2. Hamlet, William Shakespeare. Um, “pretending”?
3. Beloved, Toni Morrison. Reviewer, let’s become frenemies.
4. The Complete Stories of Poems of Edgar Allen Poe. Ok, this one is not incorrect.
5. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald. I guess you stopped at the drunk driving and didn’t even get to the murder.
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee. No conflict? Did we read the same book?
7. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez. I feel like "Too weird for me" should be one of the reviewer quotations they put on the back cover.
8. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I’m guessing this person won’t be checking out The Brothers Karamazov, then?
9. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen. Look, whomst among us, ok?
10. The Fellowship of the Ring, J. R. R. Tolkien. I love this book, but I don’t think I can refute that.
11. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott. Ok, first of all, it was their breakfast.
12. The Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison. I mean, did you think he was going to be literally invisible? (If so, I guess you might try the H. G. Wells.)
So, how'd you do?