The Best Of The Worst About The Best

What happens if you take Time magazine’s list of the 100 best novels from 1923 to the present and look at some of the ‘best’ one-star reviews posted on

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)
“Obviously, a lot people were smoking a lot of weed in the ’60s to think this thing is worth reading.”

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (1951)
“So many other good books … don’t waste your time on this one. J.D. Salinger went into hiding because he was embarrassed.”

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
“It grieves me deeply that we Americans should take as our classic a book that is no more than a lengthy description of the doings of fops.”

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (1954)
“The book is not readable because of the overuse of adverbs.”

1984 by George Orwell (1948)
“Don’t listen to anyone who tries to distinguish between “serious” works of literature like this one and allegedly “lesser” novels. The distinction is entirely illusory, because no novels are “better” than any others, and the concept of a “great novel” is an intellectual hoax. This book isn’t as good as Harry Potter in MY opinion, and no one can refute me. Tastes are relative!”

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller (1934)
“This book is one of the worst books I have ever read. I got to about page 3-4.”

Read the rest.