Terrible reviews are a circumstance of literary lifetime, much for the most successful writers. Capture Steig Larsson — perhaps the hottest novelist of recent years, his books have nevertheless had to weather some cold-blooded attacks. The Fresh York Times calls The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo “improbable” among other things. However the really tough one comes from Susan Cohen: “This is easily one of the worst books I’ve ever glance at. And remember I’ve glance at…” (You’ll have to glance at the review to find outside who she’s comparing him to.)
However if authors and readers reckon reviews can be mean today, they are nothing compared to the vitriolic war of words carried outside during a age when it seems we had thicker hides. What we call a classic immediately was once an up-and-coming writer’s fresh novel – and honest game for reviewers with sharpened knives. No wonder that in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot a war of insults culminates with “Crritic!”
Here are some examples of critics doing their gleeful worst – and literary lights who don’t miss a chance to capture a swipe at a colleague. If we left your favorite mean quote outside, let us know on Facebook or Twitter, #toomean.
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