Rayne Hall Shares Funny Book Reviews

I’m pleased to welcome master craftswoman Rayne Hall back to my blog. In previous visits, she shared her craft articles on villains, editing fluff like “sigh” and tips for fight scenes. Today she shares some amusing book reviews.

Take it away, Rayne…

Funny Negative Book Reviews, by Rayne Hall

I love it when readers who enjoyed my books post positive reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and elsewhere – but negative reviews can be even more fun.

Here’s a selection of my favourites I’ve received over the years:

Storm Dancer book coverStorm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel)
“This book is too long. I had to spend many hours reading it. I’m busy and have other things to do.”
“The character of Queen Matilda is not believable” There’s no Queen Matilda in the book.
“Animal lovers: Do not buy this book! They don’t just sacrifice humans, but horses as well.”
“The women in this story are not as obedient as the Bible says women were in those days.”
“The book didn’t end how I thought it would.”

Bites Ten Tales of Vampires book coverBites: Ten Tales Of Vampires (short story anthology)
“The vampires in this book aren’t like Edward Cullen. Most of them totally creep me out.”
“I could have written a vampire story as good as any in this book if the editor had asked me.”

Daughters Of The Dragon (non-fiction)
“How dare this author write about women in China? I checked her credentials: she does not have a degree in sinology.”

Living&Working In Britain (non-fiction)
“I’ve spent three weeks in that country. Trust me, it’s not at all like this.” The author lives in that country.
“If I had time, I’d dash off a book like this myself.”

Living&Working In Germany (non-fiction)
“This is not how I imagine Germany to be.”
“Clearly, the author has never met a real German” The author is a real German.

How To Be A Freelance Journalist (non-fiction)
“I don’t want to do all this work. I just want to be a journalist.”

Writing Fight Scenes (non-fiction)
“I skipped the first twenty chapters because there was nothing of interest in them. I wanted to know how to structure a fight scene and the book doesn’t show that.”
Chapter 3 is titled “Structure”.

Writing Scary Scenes book cover Writing Scary Scenes (non-fiction)
“I don’t need a book to teach me how to write.”
“I haven’t read this book because I don’t need to read it to know it’s bad.”

Six Scary Tales Vol. 1
“What a rip-off! This book contains only six stories!”
“These tales are not scary. There’s not one single chainsaw massacre, not even a disemboweling.”

Six Historical Tales Vol. 1
“I hate it when writers use British English. They should learn to write proper English before publishing a book.”
“These stories are not ‘historical.’ Nobody gets married.”

Writing Scary Scenes book cover Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts
“I had made reservation and on the date I was to go I had a very bad cold and fever and I called them to change my reservation and they refused.”

*

Since some of these reviews were written many years ago and I no longer have access to them, I’ve quoted them from memory. The precise wording may have been different.

*

Negative reviews from someone who clearly doesn’t get it can be annoying – but they can also be a source of hilarity.

I’ve browsed some review sites and found these disdainful comments on famous classics and bestsellers:

Pride And Prejudice (by Jane Austen)
“I found the story incredibly dated.” It was published in 1813.
“This is stupid. Why don’t those girls simply get a job?”
“Jane Austen left out all the good bits!! Even where Mr. Darcy comes out of the water with his shirt wet! It’s absolutely the best part and it’s not in the book at all!!!

Rebecca (by Daphne du Maurier)
“This story needs editing.”
“I wish the house would burn down and kill all the characters inside.”

Wuthering Heights (by Emily Bronte)
“There is also animal cruelty, and most of the characters die off at an early age.”
“The book is not as good as the movie.”

Dracula (by Bram Stoker)
“The character of the count is a stereotyped kind of vampire you’ve already seen in two dozen movies.”
Stoker’s Count Dracula is the original from which the stereotype evolved.

Carrie (by Stephen King)
“A bland tasteless book with no debth. The only part I enjoyed was the crazy mother.”
“Where’s the Scarey? Boring!”

Grapes Of Wrath (by John Steinbeck)
“What should I care about those people’s problems? I have enough problems of my own.”

Bleak House (by Charles Dickens)
“I’m on page 300 and there is no end in sight.”

*

What Do You Think?

  • Which of these reviews do you find funniest?
  • If you’re a writer, have you ever received a funny negative review?

About Rayne Hall

Rayne Hall Portrait by Fawnheart
Rayne Hall has published more than thirty books under different pen names with different publishers in different genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. Recent books include Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel), Six Historical Tales Vol 1, Six Scary Tales Vol 1, 2 and 3 (mild horror stories), Six Historical Tales (short stories), Six Quirky Tales (humorous fantasy stories), Writing Fight Scenes and Writing Scary Scenes (instructions for authors).

She holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Currently, she edits the Ten Tales series of multi-author short story anthologies: Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft and more.

Her short online classes for writers are intense with plenty of personal feedback. Writing Fight Scenes, Writing Scary Scenes, Writing about Magic and Magicians, The Word Loss Diet and more.

For more information about Rayne Hall visit her website.

Image Credits:
Portrait of Rayne Hall by Fawnheart. Used with permission of Rayne Hall.
Book covers also used with permission of Rayne Hall.

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29 thoughts on “Rayne Hall Shares Funny Book Reviews

  1. Hi Celia,
    Thanks for hosting this blog with Rayne – it’s nice to meet you Rayne.
    Thank you for sharing these reviews. Absolutely hilarious – I love it that you’ve taken something that authors can take so seriously and pointed out the possibility of having fun with them. Reviews are so subjective anyway, and I’ve learned over time to take them with a grain of salt – both the good, and the bad.
    Changing the perspective to the humorous side of things is an excellent idea.
    Your stories and your classes sound wonderful.
    Thanks for starting my day off with a smile,
    Paula Millhouse

    • Hi Paula, Compiling this list has been a lot of fun. I started half a year ago, and have been adding to it ever since. It does take the sting away from the negative reviews. Instead of groaning or fuming, I rejoice “another hilarious review to add to the list!” The bizarre one for “Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts” arrived only a few days ago, when I’d already sent the article to Celia. Since it was too good to miss, we inserted it. Normally, I would have been annoyed at the inappropriateness of the review, but because of the article, I was pleased. :-)

  2. Hi Rayne,

    Thanks for this fun guest post. I love when you come over to visit my blog!

    I keep rereading and smiling at these quotes.

    You asked:
    “Do you prefer your vampires creepy or sparkling, or do you like either kind?”

    I’m a fan of sexy vamps like J.R. Ward’s alpha males who kick butt and take names. And LKH’s vamps, too. Creepy vamps also good. I have a mix of both creepy and sexy in my upcoming release, HAVEN.

    Celia

  3. Hysterical! I don’t know how to pick and choose my favorite, but I did really like the fact that obviously the ghost story book didn’t properly change her reservation (gotta watch out for ghosts, they are tricky). I also got a kick out of the Dracula review. When I’m looking to buy a book, I always look at the negative reviews, they tend to be more honest and it’s pretty easy to see if the reviewer knows what they are talking about.

  4. I also look at the negative reviews before buying a book, because they give me a pretty good idea what the book is about. For example, if a negative review complains that the book is too creepy or doesn’t contain enough sex, I know it’s probably the right book for me (I like creepy, and I prefer books without explicit sex).

    As an author, I appreciate negative reviews where the reviewer shares their genuine impression.

    For example ,the one complaining that the women in Storm Dancer aren’t as obedient as the women supposedly were in Bible days… this author has obviously read the book and thought about it. While her 2* review is a rant about all the things she considers wrong with the book, I applaud it. I think it’s great she finished reading the book she hates, and that she’s spent time thinking about it and expressing her opinion. Her review will help other people of similar tastes (who like obedient women) to avoid Storm Dancer, which is good.

    However, I draw the line at reviews where the reviewer hasn’t even read the book. :-)

  5. I couldn’t stop laughing at Queen Matilda in Stormdancer. I am actually still laughing. Oh and the complain about only 6 stories in the “Six stories” book. good you take it with humor. Great post, Rayne.

    • Hi Al,
      I’m also still laughing. I had a good laugh when I wrote the article some months ago, had another laugh when I expanded it for Celia’s blog, and am laughing whenever I read it. I guess it makes me some kind of jerk for laughing at my own jokes. :-D
      When this kind of review arrives, I’m initially annoyed, but then I see it as fodder for this article, and it becomes funny.
      Rayne

  6. LOL. Fortunately, these are are the cream of daftness, so they don’t represent the average level of intelligence and education. I spent a lot of time scouring the web to find these gems.
    Of course you’re right, it’s good that these people are reading, which will (hopefully) sharpen their minds. On the other hand, not all of them are reading. Every so often, I get reviews “I haven’t had time to read this book yet, but here’s what I think it’s like…”

  7. Too funny but also kind of sad. At least they came away from television long enough to read part of a book. The vampire reference is funny but Pride and Prejudice hit my funny bone hard. ‘Why can’t they get jobs’
    Snerk

  8. Yes, comments like the one about “Why can’t they get jobs” bring it how how readers judge stories by their own frames of reference. Not all readers can make the mental change to the novel’s world with its different society and rules.

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