Worst review ever?

[This is embarrassing.  The post is supposed to be amusing.  Some readers have sent my notes about how sorry they are that someone gave me a bad review.  Not so!  I was attempting to write humor.  Please laugh.]

“This book does not disappoint.”    I read lots of reviews at on-line books stores.  Every time I see “Does not disappoint,” I wonder if there is less enthusiastic praise than that.  Yes, there are many worse reviews.  “This book made me throw up” is one I hope never to see.   Another is, “I hated this book so much I ground it up, made it into hamburgers, and poisoned my neighbors’ barking dog with it.”

But if you want to recommend a book, please find a way to express your  view in words that sound like a compliment.  When I read the “does-not-disappoint” comment on a review site, it brings to mind images and scenarios like these:

“When my table wobbled, I shoved this book under a leg.  It did not disappoint.”

“I used this book to kill an ant and it did not disappoint.”

“A friend recommended this book to cure my insomnia.  It did not disappoint.”

I mean, really, is this what you, as a reader, mean to suggest?   “It does not disappoint” is like using the old Texas saying “Reading this book was better than a poke in the eye.”  Not high praise.

Do you ever post a review?  Have you read any reviews that you thought were really good or bad?

4 thoughts on “Worst review ever?

  1. I use book reviews all the time to help make up my mind on new (to me) authors and whether to spend on expensive books. the most helpful ones give me a quick view of what the book is all about without giving away the plot or in the case of mysteries, the murderer. I do appreciate it when reviewers say that a book by a well known author in a long series is not up to par. Surprisingly a book cover may tip the balance. I’m really pleased with the Butternut Creek covers, well done!

  2. Thanks, Diane. This is from my brilliant sister-in-law, an expert on the underground railroad in Kentucky, country stores, and much more We often discuss novels and exchange the names of authors we enjoy. We both, obviously, read reviews.

    I’m delighted with the covers as well.

  3. Jane this is SO TRUE! I’ve never thought about this before, and you made me laugh. I am not sure I have ever written a review like that, but I sure won’t now!

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