Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Recent Reads: One Star Amazon Customer Reviews Edition

Poor Things, Alasdair Gray:
1.0 out of 5 stars Yuck!, 28 April 2000
By A Customer
Highly pretentious! A ridiculously stupid main character set within an even stupider plot! This novel takes itself too seriously from cover to cover (and, indeed, even the cover illustration is ludicrous). Its would-be originality is overshadowed by the fact that the plot and the meaning are in their hundreth reincarnation. Its sinister carefreeness and disturbing images all attempt and fail what Huxley so elegantly communicated to us the good part of a century ago. Save your time -- it is a big book!
What Was Lost, Catherine O'Flynn:
1.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing, 2 Jul 2008
Having read so many good reviews I looked forward to reading this book. It started off well, but introduced characters I did not care about, and I actually could not finish the book, try as I might. I find it hard to understand what most of the other readers got so excited about. Perhaps it appeals to youngsters who spend their lives in shopping malls. I couldn't relate to the book at all.
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov:
1.0 out of 5 stars ugh.., June 16, 2005
By selffate "critical wunderkid"


Nabokov's novel 'Lolita' about an old man who lusts (that's right not loves LUSTS) after a pre-pubescent girl, is the most banal boring prose I've ever come across. Nabokov's narration while sometimes creative just goes on... and on... and on.. plus he gives no insight into his characters at all most simply because they have no dialogue what so ever. Perhaps the only dialogue I seem to remember from this book, was the words "you rapped me". So how can I feel for any of the characters in this book after that? huh? Would I want to identify with the main protoganist who just can't stop thinking of his sick ways? I don't think so.

I suppose many decades ago you could write a book like this and get noticed with the shock value, but if this book was released now, no-one would even pay attention to it, it would be passed off for what it is, toilet literature, and then be relegated to the garbage can.
The Emigrants, W.G. Sebald:
1.0 out of 5 stars An European point of view..., August 20, 2002
By santiago


This way of writing, VERY fashionable these days here in Europe, gets me quite nervous. And the main reason is that I cannot sympathise with the people described in the book. Most of them are SO boring and have so little interesting things to say... at least, they take little time to do it, since the book is short and has many photos inside.


Mark Thwaite said...

Hahaha -- great list.

I suppose this needs to get filed under "it takes all sorts" or "there's nowt so queer as folk". These reviewers are all mad, I say. Mad!

Tim said...

Agreed. Lolita in particular attracts the nutty types, which is to be expected I suppose.

Imani said...

I'm stealing this gimmick. Have to say that the Lolita review made me slap my hands against my face as I dropped my jaw. Stayed that way for the entire thing. Not that it's impossible not to have valid grouses with Lolita -- I can't think of any but I'm sure they exist -- but to crack at it for "banal prose"?