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1-Star Reviews of Classic Novels

Excerpts From Actual 1-star Amazon.com Customer Reviews for Radcliffe's Top Ten Best Novels

1. The Great Gatsby: "If Fitzgerald had written this book properly ... it would have been EXACTLY two sentences long - 'I'm rich' and 'Oh, boo hoo'. The plot line resembles an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 (namely 'Let's sit around and whine about being rich. Next we'll get drunk and call each other names, fight, and run each other over!' SHUT UP ALREADY!) I can rarely can say this, but I HATE HATE HATE HATE this book! FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK IF YOU CAN HELP IT!"

2. Catcher in the Rye: "I'm not the kind of person who reads a lot of books and this book is a reason why."

3. The Grapes of Wrath: "Unfortunately i had to read this book for my american literature class. it went on and on and on about absolutely nothing!yes mr. steinbeck is verydescriptive, by he goes completely overboard in almost every chapter. i mean, does it really take a whole chapter to describe a turtle?!!"

4. To Kill a Mockingbird: "I'm sorry everyone. I don't see why this book is so fabeulos. I would give it a zero. I find no point in writing a book about segregation, there's no way of making it into an enjoyable book."

5. The Color Purple: "This book is the collection of sick perverted ravings of Alice Walker. I started reading the book thinking it had to be great to win the Pullitzer Prize, but I couldn't even finish it because it was so grossly sickening. I urge you to not read this book because it will subvert you and defile your mind with unwanted perverseness."

6. Ulysses: "It is the only book I can think of where the reader deserves more credit for finishing it than the author."

7. Beloved: "Toni has a comon failing among female writers, unfocused ideas and flat characters. the subject matter wasnt something that particlarly intrested me. I guess it would be possible to like this book, but someone like me, I think Ill stick with sci-fi."

8. The Lord of the Flies "I had to read this book for literiture class I hated it. my teacher rattled on about the symbolizm in this book.It was so boring and kinda gory. Plus no girls, wasnt they susposed to repopulate the world after nuclear war so not possible wih only boys. The one thing i found interesting was how they acted like wild animals after they had been on the island a while.that was kinda cool.But it was to confusing."

9. 1984: "The fall of Communism has erased nearly every trace of relevance this book may once have had. "

10.The Sound and the Fury: "What was up with all the words in italics?"

Update, 10/31/06: Hi! A lot of folks are coming to this dusty old entry from a link on Boing Boing. Just so you know, I wrote a second (and better) installment of this for The Morning News.

Posted on July 18, 2002 to Bad Review Revue, Books