Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bad Review Got You Down—Even the Best Get Dumped On


Huffington Post Books published an article titled "Bad Reviews Of Great Authors." When you get a bad review of your work, it’s comforting to know that supposed experts hated these classics.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
"There is not in the entire dramatis persona, a single character which is not utterly hateful or thoroughly contemptible."  Atlas, 1848

The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike
"Mr. Updike’s descriptions of these magical doings are cringe-making in the extreme, not funny or satiric as he perhaps intends."  Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

fiction writing
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
"... the book is sad stuff, dull and dreary, or ridiculous. Mr. Melville's Quakers are the wretchedest dolts and drivellers, and his Mad Captain ... is a monstrous bore." Charleston Southern Quarterly Review, 1852

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
"no more than a glorified anecdote, and not too probable at that... Only Gatsby himself genuinely lives and breathes. The rest are mere marionettes—often astonishingly lifelike, but nevertheless not quite alive." H.L. Mencken, Baltimore Evening Sun, 1925

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
"Unfortunately, it is bad news. There are two equally serious reasons why it isn't worth any adult reader's attention. The first is that it is dull, dull, dull in a pretentious, florid and archly fatuous fashion. The second is that it is repulsive." Orville Prescott, The New York Times, 1958

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
"... it is impossible to imagine how any man's fancy could have conceived such a mass of stupid filth, unless he were possessed of the soul of a sentimental donkey that had died of disappointed love." Rufus Wilmot Griswold, The Criterion, 1855

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
“What other culture could have produced someone like Hemingway and not seen the joke?” Gore Vidal

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