My good friend John Scalzi believes that we authors should all own our one-star reviews. I am with him. It is good and wise to toughen up and learn to, if not love them, at least enjoy them. To this day one of my fave punter reviews ever is from the Barnes & Noble site and declares that Magic or Madness is like a bad Australian episode of Charmed. Never fails to make me giggle.
Some days though I find bad reviews of my own work a bit hard to take. When that happens I turn to the one-star reviews of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice which are the best therapy in the universe and never fail to cheer me up.
Here are a few faves:
Like others, I really did want to like this book. I tried and tried to read it, but it was all nonsensical jibber-jabber. I may try again, but doubt it. It’s torture!”
“Nonsensical jibber-jabber” is now my favourite phrase of all time.
Me no could read that book good. It too slow. Me like better book. Me like Tales from the Crypt. I no think any one should read. I would not read again. If you like torture read book. If you smart spend money on beacon soda.
I’m pretty sure this one is on-purpose funny. I salute it! I too enjoy Tales from the Crypt.
It appears that the odds are against me since most people love this…I don’t even know what to call it. And that is perfectly fine we are not all a like and have a right to our own views and opinions. Nevertheless, I must speak out and let my opinon be heard even though most of you who can’t say enough about this book wouldn’t want to hear.
I am forced to read this book for my lit class and I find this book repulsive. I have never read such a novel that is completly incompetant, complete nonsence, the smallest talks of all the small talks in the world, it is about nothingness, and how several nothings trying and wanting to get married to other nothings for all the wrong reasons in the world. It is about people pretending to be inteligent and pretending to be civilized. It is a book where they compliment women as being handsome and men as being well…also handsome. It is quite contageous I might add because I find myself helplessly imatitating the language that it was written in. I am offended by every paragraph that I read. I have never felt such contemt for any work that I read. I pasionately despise this novel and I could write an entire paper on why. The 17th century English aristocracy and the way the people cary and behave themselves and think so highly of themselves and so low of anybody who is different, is offensive and without merit. You may think “that I simply don’t understand this work” well I don’t and I am not going pretend that I understand this “classic” Perhaps I am incapable of comprehending this novel. I do know however that there are a lot finer book writen in the 17th centuries and earlier and after, which are better, more meaningful then this book and are also classic but some of them are notoverated enough as much as this book is.
Tee. I can’t fault them for getting their centuries wrong. I myself am quite inumerate and am constantly reversing numbers. 17th century, 19th century. What’s the diff? Also I am a pretty poor speller myself. It would be hypocrisy of the first order were I to mock the spelling. And yet . . .
I tried to read it, but I couldn’t. I put it down at about page 100. From a fan of IMMANUEL KANT, this was too boring. Honestly, after I put it down, I had to study the Diamond Sutra and the Book of Job to get the vapid feeling out of my head. Someone on here wrote something to the effect of “as Blake saw the world in a grain of sand, so did Austen see the world in a drawing room”. To this, I’d say that there is a vast difference in seeing the world in a drawing room, and thinking that the world IS a drawing room.
*cough* I will say nothing . . .
I HATED THIS BOOK. I READ IT IN HIGH SCHOOL, ABOUT 9 YEARS AGO AND I STILL REMEMBER HOW MUCH I HATE THE PUFFY PATHETIC NARRATIVE OF WHINY WOMEN IN WANT OF HUSBANDS. It is with deep anguish that I note that there are books on how to teach this book in classes, thereby continuing the legacy of pain to innocent students of this day and age.
I FEEL YOUR PAIN. THEY MADE ME READ THE GREAT GATSBY IN HIGH SCHOOL. I STILL REMEMBER HOW MUCH I HATED THE PUFFY PATHETIC NARRATIVE ABOUT A BUNCH OF WHINY MEN IN WANT OF MONEY.1
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, is a book about the life of a girl, Elizabeth Bennet. She has five sisters and lives with her mother and father in 18th century England. The story tells of her sisters’ loves and marriages. Elizabeth’s youngest sister gets married to a man of questionable character, who happens to be the friend of the man that Elizabeth herself loves, Mr. Darcy. Of course Elizabeth’s love isn’t that simple, since she first has to hate Mr. Darcy and then blames him for everything that her sister is going through. Jane, Elizabeth’s oldest sister, falls in love with another of Darcy’s friends. All the trouble that any of Elizabeth’s not-quite-normal family has is blamed on Mr. Darcy.
Basically, the whole book is about an 18th century girl whining about her upper middle class life. Of course, at the end, she gets exactly what she wants and everyone lives happily ever after. There is credit to be given to Jane Austen, since she wrote the book in an American household in the early 1800s, with no support from any of her family. She had to hide her writing under knitting or sewing whenever someone approached. She then had a friend publish the books she wrote, without telling her husband. Considering all that, the story really isn’t that bad, but in general, if you were looking for a book by Jane Austen, Emma would be a better read. If you want a predictable love story, “Pride and Prejudice” is a good book for you.”
Bless! How foolish we all were thinking that Jane Austen was English and unmarried and her books were set and published in the 19th century.2 Amazon reviews are educational. Yes, that last review does have a most amusing
comment correction thread in response.
The point being that there is no book or author that is universally loved. We all of us have our foibles and preferences, blind spots and, well, prejudices and it is through them that we perceive the world and the books in it.3
All of which makes the world a rich and interesting place. There’s room for Jane Austen haters and lovers. There’s even room for the Jane Austen indifferents.
- Actually, I quite like The Great Gatsby and am a bit of an F. Scott Fitzgerald fan, but it’s fun to see John Green and English teachers freak out when I say I hate it. [↩]
- I know! I know! Those pesky numbers. [↩]
- Except for me, of couse, my hatred of Moby Dick and the writings of Henry Miller, Patrick White and Norman Mailer is completely rational and anyone who likes them is just flat out wrong. [↩]