Sunday, September 26, 2010

5 Mean Reviews

"The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" by Steig Larsson

Review by Susan Cohen:

"This is easily one of the worst books I’ve ever read. And bear in mind that I’ve read John Grisham."

Ed here: Most of us have gotten our share of bad reviews; a good number of us have even gotten the occasional savage review. Salon is claiming that these are the meanest reviews ever which is bogus. But they certainly didn't make the writers under review feel very good.

5 Meanest Book Reviews Ever: Franzen, Foer, Larsson And More (PHOTOS)
Posted: 09-24-10 09:01 AM

It has been said that any publicity is good publicity. But when someone describes your writing as "like reading a bad newspaper or a bad piece in a magazine. It makes you wince," as John Irving said of Tom Wolfe's "A Man In Full," that credo loses a bit of credibility.

Book reviewers, generally speaking, tend to keep their heads when assessing a book's worth. They are, after all, charged with the task of objectively analyzing a work. Sometimes, however, professionalism and decorum give way to vitriol and downright disgust. The words in these hateful reviews are less letters on a page and more the transcript of a critic's frenzied ravings.

So, here are the worst of the worst, the most dispiriting, and the meanest. But what did we leave out? What are the meanest reviews you've ever read?

Disclaimer: We apologize if you are the author of one of these books.

See all the reviews by going here:


Randy Johnson said...

Strictly speaking, I suppose I'm not a good reviewer. I can't analyze a book and tell you why it works. all I can do is tell you why I like it.

On my blog, i review books I like and don;t feel the need to even mention the ones I don't. I come off like a cheerleader it would appear.

There are writers I think can't write worth a damn. They can tell a story, just can't write. One in particular comes to mind and another I don't read because I heard to much about him first.

Anonymous said...

Even more painful than a malicious review is one in which the reviewer struggles to find some good in a novel, but just can't. The eminent Washington Post critic Jonathan Yardley tried hard to find merit in Ivan Doig's new novel, Work Song, but gave up, and wrote that it was simply the worst novel he had read in a quarter of a century, and named a few that equaled it for awfulness.

Charlieopera said...

I enjoyed the hell out of the Stieg Larsson series, broken writing rules and all. I loved the super-heroine character (even though I don't like super heros--go figure). While I didn't take to The Firm (and never read anything beyond it), I had read A Time To Kill before it and liked it quite a bit.

I only review books I like, but I'm no reviewer, that's for sure. I probably split my reading time betwen rereading books I like very much and new books.

In the end, no matter who is doing the reviewing, it is one person's opinion (not the New York Times or The Washington Post, etc.) ... The difference, I find, between nasty reviews and fluff reviews is the fluff's tend to come from the same people about the same authors ... the nasty ones seem much more random.

So it goes ...