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Bad Reviews Quiz


Keenomanjaro
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Things seem to have gone a bit quiet down in this part of the forum, so I thought I'd post a new quiz to get things going again.

Can you identify the books as described in their unflattering Amazon reviews? Give-aways like title, author, main characters etc... have been removed.

Edit: at the very end of this post there is a list of all the books that have been used for "Bad Reviews" by other members, following this first one

1) Nice book - for a grade ten research project! The first part of [title] reads like a science project on animals with random religious facts dispersed throughout (minus the true wonder of religion - FAITH, BELIEF, LOVE). There is no symbolism, no poetic language (his metaphors are really cliched), no commentary on contemporary society (India's or Canada's). . The only interesting aspect of this book is that it reveals how humans and animals are alike... [Author] has the literary capacity of the latter, that's for sure. The best thing about this book is its cover - Five stars to the Graphic designer!

Life of Pi - Yann Martel



2) I have just been looking at the reviws for this book and am amazed...The main character, [name], is a child who is so deviod of a brain it made me want to scream while Joe, the only good character in the book, no-matter how many times let down by [main character] still worships the ground he walks on. [Author] does set the atmosphere well but time and again comes back to the same type of atmosphere for every geographical location. If you want to read something from last century read 'The Picture Of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde, don't worry it is classed as a classic, and enjoy every chapter with a large mog of coffee!

Great Expectations - Charles Dickens



3) Do not read this book unless you feel that you will be entertained by 274 pages of tedious, self-loathing and pointless pop-psychology. At times this book reads like a straightforward transcript from some imagined psychiatrists couch, although most self respecting psychiatrists would have told [main character] to get a life by the end of chapter one! Overall a passingly useful insight into a very caricatured view of Jewish life, with quite a few Yiddish words that I didn't know, most of them scatological. As a book it doesn't seem to try hard to do anything other than dump the authors problems on the reader; it isn't funny, it certainly isn't erotic, and overall I can't really recommend it!

Portnoy's Complaint - Philip Roth



4) i read the other reviews & saw that people loved it but i'm sorry anyone wanting to read this book for some light entertainment do not read! its a very heavy book to read due to the language (formal) & nothing actually happens, no plot or structure, simply a man questioning what actually is dignity, very boring indeed.

Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro



5) Join up here for the paranoid's rose tinted view of the nasty old world. Wishy washy new age nonsense, far too wordy and the book is way too long....this seems to be an exam essay or, at best, a newspaper article that has regurgitated itself again and again on page after page after boring page, only to explode into nothing like the sole of a poorly made Nike trainer. Every chapter makes the same sad, elitist point: Consumers Are Stupid and we shouldn't be allowed to think for themselves. I know best, I know what's best for you. Enjoy your ivory tower, [author], I'm off to Mcdonald's.

No Logo - Naomi Klien



6) I was really looking forward to reading [title] but it was Oh So Disappointing! It is a very complex book - but although the individual parts are not difficult to comprehend (and some could actually be stand-alone books) they do not add up to a coherent whole. Within the book there are lots of interesting bits. The despair of the members of the Communist Party in the 1950s and the differing ways of coping was certainly worth exploring. [Main character] also mentions meeting desperate women living in council estates while she is out canvassing for the elections. But then we hear no more of them. The narrative set in Rhodesia had some interesting aspects on colonialism, racism and the relationship of communists with African nationalists. But this episode did not seem to mesh with the rest of the book. And the inclusion of a novel within the novel about a woman like [main character] was just plain irritating.

The Golden Notebook - Doris Lessing



7) Nervy, hand wringing account of his lack of ideas on a huge range of subjects, the exception being his knowledge of street gangs in Jakarta. Well meaning Jimmy Carter'ish intelligence dribble. Hardly awe inspiring and Messers Iraq, Iran and Terry Taliban are going to eat this pilgrim for breakfast.

The Audacity of Hope - Barack Obama



8) [Author's] first-person narration details the trials and tribulations of thirty something [main character], who has been abandoned by his girlfriend. Sadly, [main character] defines his entire existence on his success with women, and his whinging, immature self-pity grates horribly. [Author] attempts to create a new man style character so beloved by trendy gender analysts. However, [main character's] narcissism merely reinforces the stereotype of the pathetic man who is unsure of his identity and moulds himself at the behest of others. If this novel had been written by a woman with a female character it would have been (rightly) attacked for its subservience to the opposite sex. Instead, [author] is praised for his insight and understanding of the male condition.

High Fidelity - Nick Hornby



9) I saw it in Tesco for £4 and I bought the first three books. I'd just like to say that was a complete waste of my money and time. I haven't even finished the first book and I already absolutely LOATHE the main characters, I just want to stab the book and burn it. [Female character] is just a bimbo airhead who needs to get her life examined. No independence what-so-ever, no self-confidence, very clumbsy (probably the most annoying thing about her) and she gets dizzy just looking into [male character's] eyes (also extremely annoying). This book lacks in plot and, frankly, intelligence. It's annoying but now that I have bought the books, I feel that I have to put myself through this torture of reading them.

Twilight - Stephanie Meyer



10) This is not good; cliche after cliche, endless cheap tugs at the heartstrings, a plodding obvious plot and awful two dimensional characters. And making the villain a Nazi, paedophile and Taleban leader all rolled into one?! If this book had been written this year he'd probably have been an greedy banker too. Evil just isn't like this and portraying it this way makes the story totally unbelievable and quite offensive.

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

 

 

edit:The following titles have been the subjects of Bad Reviews used in further questions in this thread - currently up to January 13th 2014

 

1984
2666

A Clockwork Orange
A Prayer for Owen Meany
A Short history of tractors in the Ukraine

(The) Alchemist
Angel
Angle of repose
Anna Karenina
Any Human heart
Atonement
(The) Audacity of hope

Bel Canto
Birdsong
Bonfire of the vanities
Brideshead Revisited
Brighton Rock

Captain Correlli's mandolin
Catcher in the rye
Cold mountain
(The) Constant Gardener

Crime and Punishment
(The )Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

Deception Point
(The) Diary of a nobody

Emma

Fingersmith
(The) Finkler question
Flowers for Algernon
Fugitive Pieces

(The) Golden notebook
(The) Goldfinch
(The)Grapes of wrath
Gravity's Rainbow
Great Expectations
(The) Great Gatsby
(The) Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

(The) Handmaids Tale
(The) Hare with Amber Eyes
Harry Potter and the deathly hallows
High Fidelity
(The) Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
(The) Hotel New Hampshire
How to paint a dead man

I know this much is true
Infinite jest

Jack Reacher
Jerrard: My autobiography

(The) Kite Runner

Labyrinths
(The) Little Stranger
London Fields
Lord Jim
Lord of the flies
Love in the time of cholera

Madame Bovary
Me Before You
(The) Mists of Avalon
Moby Dick

Never Go Back
Night Circus
No Logo

(The) Old Man and the Sea
(The) Old Wives’ Tale
Oliver Twist
(The) Once and Future King
(The) Other Boleyn Girl

(The) Poisonwood Bible
Portnoy's Complaint
Possession
Pride and Prejudice
Prison Diaries

Rebecca
(The) Remains of The Day
Restoration
(The) Road
Robinson Crusoe
(The) Room

(The) Sea
Skegness Candy Floss

Their Eyes were watching God
This much I know is true
This Thing of Darkness
(The) Time Traveller’s wife
To Kill a Mockingbird
Tricks of the Mind
Tropic of Cancer
(The) True History of the Kelly Gang
Twilight

Umbrella

Vanity Fair

We need to talk about Kevin
Wuthering Heights

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Great idea, Keeno! Thanks for taking the time to devise this and since it's a while since we've had this sort of quiz I'll point out for newer members the rule that you can have a go at one question at a time - you can't post another until someone else has had a pop!

 

I've some good ideas for several but I'll opt for one that I'm less sure about but have a good hunch (kiss of death, eh...?)

 

So, #4: The Remains of the Day?

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5) Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser?

 

ETA: no, I know that's wrong, but I can't think of the title of the other expose book along the same lines but focussing on advertising!

I considered that and rejected it.

The only other possibility that I can think of is

Affluenza by Oliver James,

but the review doesn't seem to fit that one very well either.

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I reckon you might be thinking of Naomi Klein's "No Logo", Flingo.

 

That's the one.

 

Just two left then:

 

6) I was really looking forward to reading [title] but it was Oh So Disappointing! It is a very complex book - but although the individual parts are not difficult to comprehend (and some could actually be stand-alone books) they do not add up to a coherent whole. Within the book there are lots of interesting bits. The despair of the members of the Communist Party in the 1950s and the differing ways of coping was certainly worth exploring. [Main character] also mentions meeting desperate women living in council estates while she is out canvassing for the elections. But then we hear no more of them. The narrative set in Rhodesia had some interesting aspects on colonialism, racism and the relationship of communists with African nationalists. But this episode did not seem to mesh with the rest of the book. And the inclusion of a novel within the novel about a woman like [main character] was just plain irritating.

(jfp has already established that this is a Doris Lessing novel)

 

&

 

7) Nervy, hand wringing account of his lack of ideas on a huge range of subjects, the exception being his knowledge of street gangs in Jakarta. Well meaning Jimmy Carter'ish intelligence dribble. Hardly awe inspiring and Messers Iraq, Iran and Terry Taliban are going to eat this pilgrim for breakfast.

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« It is a very complex book - but although the individual parts are not difficult to comprehend (and some could actually be stand-alone books) they do not add up to a coherent whole. »

 

(jfp has already established that this is a Doris Lessing novel)

Having just re-read the review more carefully, I realise it must be The Golden Notebook.
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Correct!!

 

Just one left then...

 

7) Nervy, hand wringing account of his lack of ideas on a huge range of subjects, the exception being his knowledge of street gangs in Jakarta. Well meaning Jimmy Carter'ish intelligence dribble. Hardly awe inspiring and Messers Iraq, Iran and Terry Taliban are going to eat this pilgrim for breakfast.

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