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.”
Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires (short story anthology)
“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”.
Writing Scary Scenes (non-fiction)
“I don’t need a book to teach me how to write.”
“I haven’t read this book because I don’t need to read it to know it’s bad.”
Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts (short story anthology)
“I had made reservation and on the date I was to go I had a very bad cold and fever and I called them to change my reservation and they refused.”
“I haven’t read it yet, but Amazon pressed me for a review.”
Six Scary Tales Vol. 1
“What a rip-off! This book contains only six stories!”
“These tales are not scary. There’s not one single chainsaw massacre, not even a disemboweling.”
“I didnt even get through the first story cause when i was reading it to my mom therebwere some inapropreate words.”
Six Historical Tales Vol 1
“I hate it when writers use British English. They should learn to write proper English before publishing a book.”
“These stories are not ‘historical.’ Nobody gets married.”
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.
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 on famous classics and best sellers:
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?”
“Jane Austen left out all the good bits!! Even where Mr Darcy comes out of the water with his shirt wet! It’s absolutely the best part and it’s not in the book at all!!!”
Rebecca (by Daphne du Maurier)
“This story needs editing.”
“I wish the house would burn down and kill all the characters inside.”
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.
Carrie (by Stephen King)
“A bland tasteless book with no debth. The only part I enjoyed was the crazy mother.”
“Where’s the Scarey? Boring!”
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?
Rayne Hall has published more than fifty books in several languages under several pen names with several publishers in several genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. She is the author of the bestselling Writer’s Craft series and editor of the Ten Tales short story anthologies.
She is a trained publishing manager, holds a masters degree in Creative Writing, and has worked in the publishing industry for over thirty years.
Having lived in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, she has now settled in a small dilapidated town of former Victorian grandeur on the south coast of England where she enjoys reading, gardening and long walks along the seashore. She shares her home with a black cat adopted from the cat shelter. Sulu likes to lie on the desk and snuggle into Rayne’s arms when she’s writing.
You can follow her on Twitter http://twitter.com/RayneHall where she posts advice for writers, funny cartoons and cute pictures of her cat.
Rayne’s Amazon Page: