Scathing Book Reviews of Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Julietby William Shakespeareis certainly a story you can’t avoid. They say the story of star-crossed lovers was old even when Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, but even if its true, its never been done so indelibly.

Take Romeo and Juliet away and you also lose West Side Storyand a good hunk of Shakespeare in Love. On the other hand, without the play there wouldn’t have been that insufferable Romeo + Juliet Moviewith Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, so maybe its a fair trade. Either way, these book reviews of Romeo and Juliet agree that “For never was a story of more woe / Than this of Juliet and her Romeo”:

We liked the end when all the main characters died. It left me a great message.

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Shakespeare’s book, Romeo and Juliet, is placed in the 18th century. A time in which women were not considered as thinking people or capable of having any feelings.

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They arent star crossed! They are inane idiots too immersed in “love” to recognize the imprudence of their actions. Their deaths were not the least bit pitiful, but risible. Cognitive, yes. Irritating, yes. Interesting? No.

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*R&J* is simply sensationalist trash. It contains a good portion of Shakespeares worst verse and insipid characterizations. It’s unchallenging, crude, and simply melodrama for the most part. It’s the Shakespearean equivalent of “Party of Five” and the Spice Girls.

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As I didn’t liked the story at all I cant say lots of things about it but if I had to rewrite the book, I would do it in modern English. Old Englih is one of the reasons I didn’t liked the book. Another reason is that is a very predictable story and it has only 2 themes: Romeo and Juliet’s love and the war between their families.

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For me Romeo is the worst character because he only thinks about Juliet and kissing her.

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It was supposed to be tragic; I thought it was hilarious. First, everybody says that Romeo and Juliet were lovers torn apart by fate. Fate had nothing to do with it! They died through sheer stupidity and melodrama on their part.

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Sometimes you wish someone would just say something straight out, instead of dressing it up with so many frills and flowers you don’t know what they’re trying to say. But I have nothing against Shakespearean English.

…and, most incredibly, the review below. I have no idea what the English teacher was thinking, but learning to read an Elizabethan play is NOT going to help you learn to speak modern English, methinks:

We are from Argentina and learning English. Our teacher recommended the book Romeo + Juliet, we thought this book was going to increase our vocabulary and help us understand better the English language, but it didn’t, instead it made it more difficult.

As Gilbert Gottfried would say, “WHY AM I NOT SURPRISED”…

Scathing Book Reviews of “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of those books that hovered about the edge of my male consciousness, vaguely associated with “Wuthering Heights”, men in Top Hats and PBS.

Then my wife and I somehow got into a “Jane Austen movie” viewing jag, or let’s say she did and I was along for the ride, and I found myself enjoying the movies, though the themes are pretty similar… We even watched The Jane Austen Book Club which ain’t bad, and Becoming Jane. Now, dare I actually READ these books? Probably, but these readers critical reviews of Pride and Prejudice may give me a prejudice against them:

I put it down at about page 100. From a fan of IMMANUEL KANT, this was too boring. Honestly, after I put it down, I had to study the Diamond Sutra and the Book of Job to get the vapid feeling out of my head.

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This book failed to hold my interest and was nothing more than the chatterings and trivialities of women who want a man. Overly ‘girly’ and weak literature. F-

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Over two- hundred pages wasted on useless tasteless writing! I read this book in school, and it was a majority consensus in my senior English class that Pride and Prejudice was awful.

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i would recommend ppl to keep away from such a horror~ it hasn’t got the right to be called a ‘NOVEL’. i prefer lord of the flies.

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I would not read again. If you like torture read book. If you smart spend money on beacon soda

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This story was written in the early Victorian era, and hence it is quite old. We need to move on from the old ‘classics’. They mean nothing to readers (are there many left?) of the modern society.

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lthought this may appeal to worthless romantics, it will not perform well to the MTV generation. The movie starred Hugh Grant. Please………[sic – the reviewer is thinking of Sense and Sensibility]

…and this reviewer finds the hidden – EXTREMELY well hidden, I might add – link between Jane Austen and Jerry Springer:

Essentially, it concerns a bunch of smart-aleck, stuck-up self-righteous phonies who try to outdo each other with their sarcastic and smart-aleck remarks. Give me a break, all of you who supposedly like this dull, monotonous, shallow book!! It is utterly beyond my comprehension how in the world this garbage is considered one of the great books of world literature. It is simply a 19th century British version of the Jerry Springer show.

Scathing Reviews of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare

My first introduction to Hamlet by William Shakespeare was, like millions of other kids, from that redoubtable source of literary insight, Gilligan’s Island.
No, I’m serious… There was an episode guest starring Phil Silvers as a Hollywood Producer who came to the Island to get away from it all. The castaways put on a musical version of Hamlet to “sell” Silvers on the concept, and to get him to get everyone rescued as soon as possible. Naturally, he stole the idea and left the castaways on the island. Lucky for all of us, the music for the Hamlet Musical has been enshrined on the web.

With an introduction like that, let’s face it, the REAL Hamlet can only be a letdown. These critical reviews of Hamlet find the Dane not quite so great:

I don’t know what Willy Shakespeare was thinking when he wrote this one play tragedy, but I thought this sure was boring! Hamlet does too much talking and not enough stuff. He needs to shape up and show them who’s boss.

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This has to be one of the worst plays ever written, Shakespeare or no Shakespeare. While the Bard was the master of English drama, he really slipped up here. The plot makes no sense, the characters motivations are contrived, and the jokes fall flat.

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All and all this play is atrocious. Though it is acclaimed as the greatest work of drama ever, it is hardly that. People who say such things, have absolutely no credibility. Hamlet’s only purpose is to confuse the reader. Any intelligent person can see through his character and realize that he is little more than a feeble mind with a large vocabulary.

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In my opinion all of Shakespeare’s writings are long winded, drawn out words with no possibility of ever coming close to being remotly interesting. Hamlet was actually one of the most terribly boring, predictable, useless book ever written. The plot had no vital juices.

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Simply boring, with lifelessly dull characters that can never seem to figure out what they want. It follows the standard Shakespearean tragedy plotline (Guy has stuff happen to him that’s either really good or really bad, two little subplots, and then everybody dies)

…and this reviewer, who percieveth a conspiracy, methinks:

Willy is acclaimed as the best writer of all time, but this is only because of British Media hyping the man, after 400 years.

Scathing Book Reviews of Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

Lord of the Flies by William Golding is one of those books that you read as a kid and think “Oh, that couldn’t happen…” And then you grow up and you’re not so sure. (Poor Piggy). Now CBS has a reality show with some Lord of the Flies overtones. Here’s a hint, when the kids start beating drums, dancing and putting on war paint, its time to make yourself scarce. These Scathing Book Reviews of Lord of the Flies anxiously await the arrival of the British Navy…

It butchered my mind as surely as the schoolboys butchered each other.

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I seldomly read a book that makes me want to drink my own urine. This book seems to capture every element that I hate.

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I am obsessed with Survivor, so I thought it would be fun. WRONG!!!

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A relatively large group of young boys are marooned on an island. One young boy, Ralph, decides he’s the leader because has in his possession a conch shell, which most SpongeBob fans will recognize from one of the episodes.

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God this was terrible… The Simpsons parody of it is also a good thing to watch. At least in a cartoon it is entertaining, with just as much commentary on society as the original.

…and this “two-fer” takedown of both the book and the movie:

And just when I thought the novel was the worst thing I ever encountered, I saw the old black and white Lord of Flies Movie. I really honestly think that a three-year old directed this…P-U.

Test tommorrow? Buy Lord of the Flies Cliff Notes!

Animal Farm, by George Orwell

Animal Farm, by George Orwell has one of the most misleading titles you could ever imagine. Bottom line, no matter how much your child likes farms, animals or Charlotte’s Web, don’t give this book to them as a birthday present. If you do, they may start singing “Old MacDonald” to the tune of The Internationale. I’ve read the book and while I appreciate both it and the message, its not exactly a “fun” read, despite the talking animals, as these reviewers will attest:

The book has one point that it beats to death over and over again. Why anybody would ever need Cliffs notes to figure out what the book is about is beyond me.

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I can’t stand this kind of unrealistic plot, (whose ever heard of pigs giving lectures about politics).

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…the book contained absurdities on EVERY page, such as: animals that can read, write, paint, sew, operate firearms, sing, teach, trade, and form Communist dictatorships.

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This book was written by a insane man named George Orwell, who hated society, and displayed that by bashing humanity, and making people look like lower lifeforms than animals… To be honest I think this man is crazy and needs to be locked up.

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…if it really happened the cats would run things because everyone knows that cats are born leaders.

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I’m sure the author was a wonderful person, but this was just not a good book. Read something happier like, oh I don’t know, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s amd excellent read, and with the Holidays coming up, everyone wants to feel happy.

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This book is disgraceful! It is the worst book ever! It really stinks! All it has is animals that run around and say “Comrade”! Good Grief!

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Stupid guy had to express his feelings and whine about Russia. Okay Russia was bad, but this is just annoying.

…and, this, from a true believer of the Good Ol’ Soviet Union. Cue the Internationale! :

Snitch for Brit. Intel. s diatribe on russian revolution:This is george orwells take on the russian revolution that tells lies and myths after another. I would suggest that others read historical tracts to reveal Orwells obivious bias and work for the british ruling class. He maligns the achievements of the working class in the soviet union to animalism…

Scathing Book Reviews of A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is probably more often seen than read, with movie adaptations featuring Alistair Sim, Albert Finney, George C. Scott, Scrooge McDuck, the Muppets, and even Kelsey Grammer of Frasier for crying out loud.

The book itself is a quick read and quite enjoyable, at least to most. One surprise to me was that the scene in the Alistair Sim version where the dying Fanny (Scrooge’s sister) asks Scrooge (who just left the room) to care for his nephew Fred does not appear in the book. Here are a few Scathing Book Reviews of A Christmas Carol that say Bah Humbug! :

This book is by far one of the most boring books I have ever read. I do not recommend it to anyone. It was hard for me to keep up with whatever was going on.

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Our Hero Ebenezer Scrooge: Scrooge was better at the beginning! He says: “You know the ritual: boo the curmudgeon initially encountered in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, then cheer the sweetie pie he becomes in the end. It’s too bad no one notices that the curmudgeon had a point – quite a few points, in fact. There can be no arguing with Dickens’s wish to show the spiritual advantages of love. But there was no need to make the object of his lesson an entrepreneur whose ideas and practices benefit his employees, society at large, and himself.

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The vocabulary was exelent.

…and this which isn’t actually a bad review but has such a great title:

Horror of the Holiday

Scathing Book Reviews of Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte falls rather outside my reading circle, but its certainly one of those books that you’d like to be able pretend you’ve read, particularly when talking with women of a certain age, many of whom seem to use it as a touchstone of some kind.

Perhaps I will – but these Scathing Book Reviews of Wuthering Heights would like it to take a leap:

Heathcliff is a loser in every sense of the word. If Heathcliff were alive today he’d be in jail or hospitalized as “criminally insane”.

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Wuthering Heights is inundated with Emily Bronte’s so-called unique style. It’s style is unique alright, if by unique you mean a brand new alternative form of euthanasia.

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I hadn’t realized just how much I loathed [the characters] until halfway through the book, when a major character died, and all I could think was, “THANK GOD! THANK GOD!”

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It sucked: The Real name of this book should be Wuthering Bites. This book is a piece of poo and there is no exciting parts. The whole book pretty much bit and I will never read it again.

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The only reason I finished it was to settle an oddly masochistic wager with a family member… If there is such a thing as hell, for me, it would be an empty room with nothing but a copy of Wuthering Heights in it.

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Some great works of literature are best lost to posterity and this one may head the list. Yet, we must read it if we are in an English Literature survey course.

…and there’s this, with advice that would have solved all of poor Emily Bronte’s problems… (!):

Oh poor poo-poo Heathcliff the Brooding and Catherine the ill fated strumpet. Yawn. Emily Bronte lived one of those lives like that of the other Emily, you know, Dickenson, who is another pile of rubbish altogether. Lonely days and cold nights with her father, , and no hot little encounters with a horny gardener from Spain. All Emily Bronte needed was a good tango, but I fear that she was too chaste.