Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Everyone's a Critic

  This came from the Edge, which is not only the best feature in the Oregonian, it's the best daily feature in any newspaper.

Amazon allows readers to write their own reviews of books, including "the classics." Most of the reviews of course fawn all over the works considered some of the best books of their age. But some people don't – shall we say? – appreciate great literature? 

I'm not bragging, because I don't read "great literature." Maybe if I read "Moby Dick" I'd agree with the guy who wrote, "Getting through this book was like running a marathon, where you are forced to stop every mile and listen to a lecture on running, running shoes, knee pain, Gatorade, or any other subject remotely related. Finishing the marathon gives you bragging rights, but not much more."

I might have written something just as clueless, but we'll never know, because I have no plans to read it. But these are some of the better bad reviews culled by The Edge.

The best, by far, is this reader's comparison of a 20th century classic to a reality TV series.

"I am obsessed with Survivor, so I thought it would be fun. WRONG!!!"
"Lord of the Flies," by William Golding

"So many other good books ... don't waste your time on this one. J.D. Salinger went into hiding because he was embarrassed."
"The Catcher in the Rye," by J.D. Salinger

"While the story did have a great moral to go along with it, it was about dirt! Dirt and migrating. Dirt and migrating and more dirt."
"The Grapes of Wrath," by John Steinbeck

"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."
"The Great Gatsby," by F. Scott Fitzgerald

"The book is not readable because of the overuse of adverbs."
"The Lord of the Rings," by J.R.R. Tolkien

"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."
"Mrs. Dalloway," by Virginia Woolf

"This book isn't as good as Harry Potter in MY opinion, and no one can refute me. Tastes are relative!"
"1984," by George Orwell

And another wonderfully clueless offering –

"I guess if you were interested in crazy people this is the book for you."
"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," by Ken Kesey

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