That Smarts

It was inevitable. I’d been warned. Those in the know told me it would happen. Still, I clung to the desperate hope that I might be spared. Well, the axe has fallen. I just received my first 1-Star reader review, and it’s a doozy. The only thing this guy left out was to say that I’m a complete moron. Talk about criticism. Makes me wonder if there really is such a thing as constructive criticism. 

I don’t know what this guy ate for breakfast, but he was definitely in a bad mood when he wrote my review. “One of the worst books I ever read.” “Unoriginal and predictable.” “Overall the writing is terrible.” “This book was a complete waste of my time.” Gee, Mr. Kauffman, instead of walking on eggshells, tell me what you really think. 

After a brief period of mourning and a few misty-eyed moments, I decided to search some popular novelists and see if any of them received bad reviews. Here’s what I found: 

The Shining by Stephen King:   “The damn book made me want to sleep.”

Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris:   “This book is stupid . . . I hate it!”

Mr. Murder by Dean Koontz:   “The characters are dull and one-dimentional.”

The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly:   “Predictable with huge plot holes and poorly drawn characters.”

True Blue by David Baldacci:   “Everything about this book is terrible.”

Double Cross by James Patterson:   “The plot is trite, the characters cartoonish and the prose is amateurish.” 

I feel so much better knowing I’m in such good company.



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4 responses to “That Smarts

  1. Lee

    You should give the criticism as much weight as you do the praise. Better still, don’t pay attention to any of the reviews and focus on the writing. That’s all that matters.

    • Daniel

      There was a time when I totally agreed with your viewpoint–then I published a novel and everything changed. It was my intention to ignore the reviews, but it’s hard to detach these emotions. But I’m trying; I really am.

  2. poolagirl

    You are in such good company! I won’t even begin to share some of my massively bad reviews with you.

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