Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Corruption of the Best is the Worst...

...Or perhaps the panning of the best is the worst. Here is a page of excerpts of one-star reviews at Amazon.com of some of the novels that Time Magazine recently noted as being the 100 best written since 1923. Some are hilarious, others are simply vacuous but, mercifully,brief.

Thanks to Caleb (who defends his dissertation in March!) for the link.

A couple of excerpts of the excerpts (but go read the whole thing, too):

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.”

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 Lord of the Rings (1954)

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

“The book is not readable because of the overuse of adverbs.”

And finally, my favourite:

Mrs. Dalloway (1925)

Author: Virginia Woolf

“The only good thing to say about this “literary” drivel is that the person responsible, Virginia Woolf, has been dead for quite some time now. Let us pray to God she stays that way.”



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