One-star reviews of the best books

TIME recently composed a list of its critics’ choices for the best 100 English novels written since 1923. The magazine also links to the original reviews. Boooooring.

These one-star reviews of the novels culled from Amazon.com are much more fun:

The Great Gatsby (1925)

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

“It grieves me deeply that we Americans should take as our classic a book that is no more than a lengthy description of the doings of fops.”

Lord of the Flies (1955)

Author: William Golding

“I am obsessed with Survivor, so I thought it would be fun. WRONG!!! It is incredibly boring and disgusting. I was very much disturbed when I found young children killing each other. I think that anyone with a conscience would agree with me.”

The Sun Also Rises (1926)

Author: Ernest Hemingway

“Here’s the first half of the book: ‘We had dinner and a few drinks. We went to a cafe and talked and had some drinks. We ate dinner and had a few drinks. Dinner. Drinks. More dinner. More drinks. We took a cab here (or there) in Paris and had some drinks, and maybe we danced and flirted and talked sh*t about somebody. More dinner. More drinks. I love you, I hate you, maybe you should come up to my room, no you can’t’… I flipped through the second half of the book a day or two later and saw the words ‘dinner’ and ‘drinks’ on nearly every page and figured it wasn’t worth the risk.”

Comments

  1. CP says:

    The Sun Also Rises (1926)…” I flipped through the second half of the book a day or two later and saw the words ‘dinner’ and ‘drinks’ on nearly every page and figured it wasn’t worth the risk.”

    …well at least in the second half of the book there was a bull fight…and then dinner…and drinks.

    I distinctly remember reading this book on a car trip to Florida, I also distinctly remember never reading another book for some 4 to 6 years following this trip.

    Mark Twain describes a classic as: “a book people praise and don’t read.” Perhaps the phenominon of “classic” is more like the praise that artists like Picasso and Monet receive, in that a “classic” is a book that MANY praise without really knowing why.

    Now this doesn’t mean that Hemmingways symbolic depiction of the degredation of both moral and social values following WWI wasn’t interesting, but come on, it was totally BORING!

  2. Adrienne says:

    Yeah, I was going to say…the one-star review of the Sun Also Rises is spot-on. Maybe it had some important message that I just couldn’t get because I was so bored by the repetitive style.

    And to think that Gene Healy tells us to style our op-ed’s after Hemingway.

  3. Yeeah, I’ve gotta concur–the first two are hilarious; the Hemingway ain’t so far off.

  4. How can the author of The Sun Also Rises be the same author as the one who wrote The Old Man and the Sea.

    I don’t see any similarities in the main characters’ attitude towards life.

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