Lately I’ve been reading the negative reviews of books that I like. I don’t know why. It might be because I need to prepare myself for when someone one-stars my writing. It might be because I find negative reviews more likely to be funny. Who knows?
It turns out that every book I have ever loved has been ripped to shreds by reviewers. Who could have imagined that some people hate the funniest book I’ve ever read, Apathy and Other Small Victories? Take this review, for example:
“This was one of the worst books I have ever read in my life. I’d rather read all the Twilight books twice AND see all the movies before ever reading this again one time. The figure on the cover holding a gun to his head? That’s how I felt the whole time I was reading this book…”
At first I thought this review was harsh, but I wonder now whether this reviewer just secretly likes Twilight? Is she just looking for an excuse? The “AND see all the movies” bit is a little over the top, right? (Might as well add “AND marry Robert Pattinson”…)
My experience with this book was different than the experience described above. I laughed out loud on a bus while I read this book, and I try really hard to be unobtrusive on busses. I think this book is hilarious. The reason why someone might feel differently is likely just because our senses of humour vary, and that’s okay. That’s part of what makes our world a magical tapestry. I can appreciate that there’s value in our varied, unpredictable tastes.
Funny quotes from the book for you:
“I’d never actually talked to a deaf person before but I’d been swimming and gotten water stuck in my ears lots of times, felt that underwater silence as I shook my head and watched people’s mouths moving without hearing the words, so I knew what it was like for her. I could empathize.”
“But really it’s condescending and patronizing not to make fun of someone because they’re old or stupid or crippled or morbidly obese. Banged up people don’t want your pity. They just want to be treated like everyone else. Mockery, when done without prejudice or discretion, can be a form of respect. It’s the closest we’ll ever come to true equality.”