Many of my author friends have a love-hate relationship with Amazon reviews. They lap up the four and five star grades, make peace with three stars, cringe at two, and absolutely flip out with a lowly single star. And when Nik and I publish our books (fingers crossed while tapping wood, tossing chicken bones, and praying fervently), I know I’ll be exactly the same. If I can even bear to look.
The King James Bible: “I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35.2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him, or should I ask the police to do it?”But having read through hundreds of reviews, it’s clear that the price we pay for free speech and a (mostly) open internet, is that not everyone is going to like everything, and they’re not afraid to say it via a completely anonymous commenting system.
- David Copperfield (Charles Dickens): “…if you have several hours to spend on the pursuit of being so bored you want to contemplate suicide, I would highly recommend this book.”
- Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson): “Not very interesting. It was confusing with sailor slang words and British spelling. I would not recommend this book to people who like action."
- Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoevsky): “I felt like my crime was buying the book and my punishment was reading it…the characters constantly reminded me of the "two wild and crazy guys" from Saturday Night Live.”
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll): “The only redeeming factor about this endless acid trip is putting the literal meaning behind the phrases that have inexplicably wormed their ways into the English language, such as Cheshire grin or "down the rabbit hole." I had to read it to keep up with my son's middle school class assignments, and it leaves me wondering why schools would assign books that can turn the kid off to reading altogether.”
- Little Women (Louisa May Alcott): “Each [girl] initially aspires to do something great with her talent, but these dreams are summarily squashed. By the end of the book, and with the admonition that "talent isn't genius", Alcott has impressed upon her audience that such dreams are almost always fanciful. The lesson seems to be: harbor such dreams at a young age if you must - - but in the end, you'll be much happier if you get married, have kids, live puritanically, and take care of your husband."
- The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett ): “Take a bratty girl, have her meet up with her obnoxious, long-lost, sickly cousin and throw in an intolerably polite green thumb, write them in a story about a garden that the Hunchback of Notre Dame locked away because it reminded him of his deceased wife, and write in the most annoying, condescending style imaginable.”
And one of my favorite reads EVER:
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams): "Reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is like sleeping with the town slut... everyone tells you she is good, so you give her a try. Afterward, you kick yourself for being so gullible to believe it.”