Intro to Rayne Hall’s Funny Negative Book Reviews
After the success of my downloads last weekend, I knew that since I would be opening up my book to thousands of new readers – there was bound to be a negative book review in there somewhere. Well, it happened on Sunday (click here if you want to read it - you can’t please everyone as my mama says).
But, I couldn’t help but be offended! As many times as you tell yourself that you won’t take it personally, and that you won’t let it affect you – well, it did! Until a few hours later when I got an INCREDIBLE one that took the sting off. A few hours later, I saw a tweet that went out:
So, I responded! This would be perfect for my blog – I needed a good chuckle. She hit the nail on the head – my bad book review came from someone who hadn’t even read the entire book. Rayne’s notes on some of the bad reviews of the classics (like Wuthering Heights) below are simply hysterical.
Rayne Hall’s Funny Book Reviews
Rayne Hall writes subtle horror and outrageous fantasy fiction. She is the author of thirty books in different genres and under different pen names, published by twelve publishers in six countries, translated into several languages. Her short stories have been published in many magazines, e-zines and anthologies. Currently, she tries to regain the rights to her out-of-print books so she can republish them as e-books.
After living in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, she has settled in a small Victorian seaside town in southern England.
I love it when readers who enjoyed my books post positive reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and elsewhere – but negative reviews can be even more fun.
Here’s a selection of my favourites I’ve received over the years:
Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel)
“This book is too long. I had to spend many hours reading it. I’m busy and have other things to do.”
“The character of Queen Matilda is not believable” There’s no Queen Matilda in the book.
“Animal lovers: Do not buy this book! They don’t just sacrifice humans, but horses as well.”
“The women in this story are not as obedient as the Bible says women were in those days.”
“The book didn’t end how I thought it would.”
“The vampires in this book aren’t like Edward Cullen. Most of them totally creep me out.”
“I could have written a vampire story as good as any in this book if the editor had asked me.”
Daughters Of The Dragon (non-fiction)
“How dare this author write about women in China? I checked her credentials: she does not have a degree in sinology.”
Living & Working In Britain (non-fiction)
“I’ve spent three weeks in that country. Trust me, it’s not at all like this.” The author lives in that country.
“If I had time, I’d dash off a book like this myself.”
Living & Working In Germany (non-fiction)
“This is not how I imagine Germany to be.”
“Clearly, the author has never met a real German” The author is a real German.
How To Be A Freelance Journalist (non-fiction)
“I don’t want to do all this work. I just want to be a journalist.”
Writing Fight Scenes (non-fiction)
“I skipped the first twenty chapters because there was nothing of interest in them. I wanted to know how to structure a fight scene and the book doesn’t show that.” Chapter 3 is titled “Structure”.
“What a rip-off! This book contains only six stories!”
Since some of these reviews were written many years ago and I no longer have access to them, I’ve quoted them from memory. The precise wording may have been different.
The Classics: Bad Book Reviews
Negative reviews from someone who clearly doesn’t get it can be annoying – but they can also be a source of hilarity.
I’ve browsed some review sites and found these disdainful comments for famous classics:
Pride And Prejudice (by Jane Austen)
“I found the story incredibly dated.” It was published in 1813.
“This is stupid. Why don’t those girls simply get a job?”
Wuthering Heights (by Emily Bronte)
“There is also animal cruelty, and most of the characters die off at an early age.”
“The book is not as good as the movie.”
Dracula (by Bram Stoker)
“The character of the count is a stereotyped kind of vampire you’ve already seen in two dozen movies.” Stoker’s Count Dracula is the original from which the stereotype evolved.
Grapes Of Wrath (by John Steinbeck)
“What should I care about those people’s problems? I have enough problems of my own.”
Bleak House (by Charles Dickens)
“I’m on page 300 and there is no end in sight.”
Which of these reviews do you find funniest?
If you’re a writer, have you ever received a funny negative review?