Scathing Book Reviews of The Four Hour Work Week, by Timothy Ferriss

The Four Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss certainly has a compelling title going for it. If there’s nothing more American than the good ‘ol “Protestant Work Ethic” its probably the idea “Get Rich Quick”, with the late 20th century addition of “Without Working for it”. The book has some good ideas about how to make money, or more precisely, how to make money while doing less. Here are some critical reviews of “The Four Hour Work week” by readers who don’t think less is more:

The opening of the book about the dancing contest in South America is especially ridiculous.

…and:

For someone who is promoting the “four hour week” he sure could have cut out the filler from his book and reduced it to four pages or so.

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For God’s Sake people…he has achieved his success selling (what else!) SUPPLEMENTS!

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Mix a handful of shopworn business truisms “20% of customers provide 80% of profits”, “Work always fills the time alloted” with a jaw-slackening disregard for basic ethics and you get Tim Ferriss’s “lifestyle design” plan.

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Interestingly enough, the 80/20 principle also applies to this book. Twenty percent of the book contains 80% of the good ideas. The other 80% is basically tripe about the author hyping himself up and giving unethical advice on how to do business.

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…how seriously can we take a 29 year old author who lives the quintessential peter pan lifestyle.

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I’m sure this guy is making money — selling get-rich-quick books to suckers!

…and:

This book isn’t for people with roots, family or even close friends.

Scathing Book Reviews of The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen

Only on force on earth could stop the power that is Oprah, and that force is… Jonathan Franzen? Yes, it’s true! The author of The Corrections caused Oprah to pause her Book Club selections in 2001, after a string of less than enthusiastic interviews about being in “The Club”, capped by the comment “She’s picked some good books, but she’s picked enough schmaltzy, one-dimensional ones that I cringe, myself…” She restarted it after a few years, but Franzen stung her like few would dare. Many critical reviews of “the Corrections” stung right back:

Depressing – What was Oprah thinking?
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“The Corrections”….sounds like the name of a prison band and it might be more fun!

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I tried to hang in there with this one but by page 300 – I think after Alfred’s hallucinations with the turd – I just thought, you know what? Life is short… I didn’t throw my copy [across the room] but there were times that I actually yelled at it.

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Franzen’s well crafted puppets take out their garbage, and his.

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The great American Novel? Oy, is this country in trouble!

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This is a book about a majorly dysfunctional family. Warning: do not read it before you go on a cruise.(Or maybe while on a cruise.)

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The hype was better than this book. The worst episode of OPRAH ever videotaped is better than this book. The manual that came with my blender is better than this book.

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I hold no ill will towards Jonathan Franzen, just what he wrote.

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If you read for pleasure, don’t buy this book.

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I had so looked forward into diving into a big, thick novel on the hilarity of family disfunction.

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I suppose that I have to give the author credit for well developed characters, even if they are self-centered, self-obsessed, petty individuals that inspire nothing but contempt.

…and here’s someone who found that “Bad for Oprah” is not equal to “Good for Me”:

Acting on my long held idea that “any bane of Oprah’s is a friend of mine” I purchased the book. That was my first mistake.

Scathing Book Reviews of The Sword of Shannara, by Terry Brooks

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks is an interesting book to read, particularly if you read it before reading or seeing The Lord of the Rings. OK, I admit it, I read it when I was 12, and its a great book for 12 year olds of any age. It was a NY Times Bestseller – and said so right on the cover! Then I read Tolkien. The similarities are, shall we say, striking.

Even so, the book is OK, even though it generated the all-too-common franchise of books in its wake. These Scathing Book Reviews of The Sword of Shanarra would like to put the “Sword” where the Sun doesn’t shine:
Hello… Mr. Brooks? John Tolkien here. Look, I’m really rather tired of spinning in my grave and would greatly appreciate it if you would donate the profits from this little stunt of yours to charity, preferably a literacy programme of some sort.

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The writing style that Brooks uses is something you’d expect from a high school student who just didnt know when to quit.

..and:

SoS makes me think of a garage band playing a song you love very badly.

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Epic fantasy is a much maligned genre. There are truly great authors out there writing GOOD epic fantasy… That is one of the reasons why you should read them and not waste your time with this.

…and, there’s this, from this reviewer. I think he doesn’t like the book:

One looks at a copy of “The Sword of Shannara” with a bit of cruelty in one’s eye. Not cruelty aimed at the hundreds of millions of poor, innocent, beautiful trees that were minding their own business when one day they were savagely and abruptly cut down to be made into the paper on which “The Sword of Shannara” was printed. Not even cruelty aimed at the hapless Terry Brooks who could not write great epic literature to save his doomed, heathen soul. Not cruelty aimed at the millions of geeky junior high lads who read this book and thought it was great literature. But cruelty and scorn aimed at the publishing industry that found a way to make big money out cheap versions of the people’s poetry.

Scathing Book Reviews of On The Road, by Jack Kerouac

On the Road by Jack Kerouac is famous for being, well famous. I must admit that I tried to read it when I was in College and felt that it was the sort of thing someone in College should read. By the end, what I really wanted to do was to punch Dean Moriarty and company senseless. Or maybe to their senses. These Scathing Book Reviews of “On the Road” wish the book would pull over:

I mean, puh-leaze….. if I want to read about a bunch of idiotic, hormonal men driving around in a primitive attempt to get laid, I’ll just stop by the fraternity house.

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When I started reading it, a friend commented, “On The Road! You can talk about it in bars and pick up chicks.”; And who doesn’t like the concept of road trips?

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In short, I despise this piece of [garbage] and would advise all of its hipster doofus fans to lose the tie-dye clothes and throw away their bongs. Maybe then they will read something good for a change.

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Anybody who considers this “the most important book I’ve read in my life” should be taken outside and strung up by their genitalia for all the world to laugh at.

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I found my copy of On the Road lying on the side of the rode (irony, I know). After reading it I realized that I probably had the luck of finding it where I did because the previous owner had thrown it out the window in anger, frustration and disgust.

…and, to say it the way hep cats can savvy:

No, I don’t “dig it”, Dean.

Scathing Book Reviews of Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell is a classic that we’re all familiar with. OK, one that we’ve all heard of, anyway. No, its not the same as the movie The Black Stallion.

Imagine a Charles Dickens novel. Now insert a big Black Horse into the role usually played by a little boy.

Yes, THAT book. It’s a favorite of years past, and still appreciated by many, but unfortunately, these Scathing Book Reviews of Black Beauty think its all horse dung:

If somebody can tell me why this book is considered a classic I would love to know! The only thing it has that good novels have is pages!

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This book is just plain boring… Black Beauty is just a little goodie-two-shoes.

…and this from a reader who asked around:

I have consulted several others and we all agree on one point: its a total waste of money, time, and effort. This book somehow managed to become a classic, proboble just because it has to do with horses.

..and some friendly advice from a student to the teachers of the world:

I dont know why this book is a classic. Trust me, it deserves a 1. For all those teachers out there, DONT BUY BLACK BEAUTY!!!

Scathing Book Reviews of Dune, by Frank Herbert

What can one say about Duneby Frank Herbert? Well, it made for an embarrassingly bad moviestarring Sting and Kyle Maclachlan, but beyond that, it’s considered a Science Fiction classic, and has influenced genre authors ever since it was first published in the 1960s.

It’s a little dry for my tastes if you know what I mean, but these Scathing Book Reviews of “Dune” find it downright arid:

Clumsy writing, heavy-handed symbolism, self-righteousness, unbelievable dialogue, characters even a comic book would blush at. A book that insults the intelligence at every level.

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A friend told me that DUNE was different from the run of the mill sci-fi endless spillage of adverbs and adjectives. After three chapters of the most tedious and unnecessary descriptions of the tiniest details I decided he didn’t know what he was talking about.

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After 10 pages everybody could guess the end.

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Never have so many dreadful Science Fiction cliches been brought together in one book. Ghastly.

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This book brought me near suicide. I was so depressed after reading this pie that I wanted to go eat a goat.

and perhaps the ultimate insult:

Prose that would make a Dungeons and Dragon novel blush…