Tuesday, August 6, 2013

One-Star Amazon Reviews of Literature Classics Prove That You Just Can't Please Everyone

Posted By on Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 4:00 PM

As spectacular as it is that the Internet gives potentially everyone on the planet a voice, the unfortunate part is that it actually gives potentially everyone on the planet a voice — especially the people who tend to do little more than bitch about every little thing that they happen to read, hear or see out there in the wide, wide world (for proof, see anything Yelp-related, ever).

In this case, The Morning News has focused on that "read" bit, and in particular, on one-star Amazon reviews given to books that are widely considered to be classics — and for terrible, horrible, no good, very stupid reasons.

Say, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, for instance:

“I bought these books to have something nice to read to my grandkids. I had to stop, however, because the books are nothing more than advertisements for “Turkish Delight,” a candy popular in the U.K. The whole point of buying books for my grandkids was to give them a break from advertising, and here (throughout) are ads for this “Turkish Delight”! How much money is this Mr. Lewis getting from the Cadbury’s chocolate company anyway? This man must be laughing to the bank.”

Or George Orwell's 1984:

“Don’t listen to anyone who tries to distinguish between “serious” works of literature like this one and allegedly “lesser” novels. The distinction is entirely illusory, because no novels are “better” than any others, and the concept of a “great novel” is an intellectual hoax. This book isn’t as good as Harry Potter in MY opinion, and no one can refute me. Tastes are relative!”

Or Kurt Vonnegut's classic science-fiction novel Slaughterhouse-Five:

“In the novel, they often speak of a planet called Tralfamadore, where he was displayed in a zoo with a former movie star by the name of Montana Wildhack. I thought that the very concept of a man who was kidnapped by aliens was truly unbelievable and a tad ludicrous. I did not find the idea of aliens kidnapping a human and putting them in a zoo very plausible. While some of the Tralfamadorians’ concept of death and living in a moment would be comforting for a war veteran, I found it relatively odd. I do not believe that an alien can kidnap someone and house them in a zoo for years at a time, while it is only a microsecond on earth. I also do not believe that a person has seven parents.”

While I could go on and on about how "suspension of disbelief" works in regards to works of fiction (trust me, I watch pro wrestling — I get suspension of disbelief), this is just too good to not enjoy.

Read more of it over at The Morning News — and if one of you happens to start (or find) a Tumblr with this idea, feel free to link to it in the comments, because there's nothing funnier than stupid criticism.

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