Bottom Shelf

by Shihang

I enjoyed Charlie Stross’s post so much that I decided to do some research myself!

The Odyssey:

A customer notes:

The reviews all raved about how this was a translation which made Homer come alive for modern audiences. Poetry is usually so academic in its use of language. Most Poets are professors who do NOT use the English language the way most modern people do. Their use of language is wooden, stilted, with unfamiliar and odd turns of phrase, use of words, etc. which all end up bewildering the reader. I had hoped that the reviews would be right for once, however. No such luck. I couldn’t even get past the first ten pages with any comprehension of what this was about. I reread lines half a dozen times with no idea of what Fagles was talking about. What the heck is “hearth smoke”? What person alive says “that nonsense coming past your teeth”? Don’t most people say “past your lips”? If this is a “readable” translation, they must mean to someone who speaks some odd form of Olde English because this does not read like any English I ever saw. Don’t get suckered into thinking this just “races” along. It does nothing of the sort. You will need to refer to the notes every few lines just to figure out what is being said. Why it is said so oddly and with such a poor sense of colloquial English and rhythmn is beyond me.

Another customer whines:

I thought this story was very gross. I mean come on. We are having to read this book in freshman English. Actually our teacher reads it to us, but it is still disgusting. We are also having to watch the movie of this, talk about gruesome. It’s like Scylla comes out of the water and chomps these people out of the ship and blood showers everywhere. I almost threw up every day when we watch this movie. We watch a little each day. I am over there about to puke up my toes and everybody else, all the boys anyway, are saying how cool it is. My boyfriend just laughs when I tell him I almost threw up in there, he is a freshman, so he has to watch it also. I’m sure he thinks it is awesome,but I don’t. If you really like gory stories you will like it. If you don’t then I wouldn’t read it or watch the movie if I were you. I am not saying to listen to me, you can have your own opinion, I’m just saying I don’t like it.

Nick from Cleveland advises:

This book sucks. I dont care if Homer was blind or not this book is like 900 pages too long. I could tell this story in about 10 pages. Homer taking all long to say stupid stuff. Teens if you are reading this all I have to say is CLIFF NOTES CLIFF NOTES you will pass the test, unless you are in AP classes. The teachers expect kids to read cliff notes trust me my moms a teacher. P.S this book SUCKS.

The Great Gatsby:

Another Jonny Anonymous notes:

And after reading it over, I concluded that if Mr. Fitzgerald’s personality was reflected in his characters, it is quite understandable that Zelda Fitzgerald ended up in an asylum (sp?). That book was the poorest excuse for literature I ever had the displeasure of reading. I did read it twice, but each time, I was disgusted with it. The characters in the story were worthless wastes of human flesh. Daisy was a ditz, Gatsby himself was a possessive stalker and everyone else didn’t have enough brains to realize that they were all being used!!

Tom, Daisy’s idiot husband, actually took Nick to meet Tom’s mistress! How much more stupid is that? Yes, I’m sure everyone with a brain cell wants his wife’s family to know he’s having an affair. And his mistress, well, all she wanted was to seem important, when everyone knew she wasn’t.

Nick was used by everyone, but he did nothing about it. Tom used him, Daisy used him and even Gatsby used him. And all the while, he thought Gatsby was God. He worshiped him.

I wrote my report on the novel and passed it into my professor. I wish I still had a copy of it, because I would post it here. Unfortuneatly, I do not.

In the end, I would recommend this book only to the person who likes to read about stupid people sleeping with each other just to seem important. Or as a cure for insomnia (sp?). I was greatly disgusted with this novel, but that’s just my opinion.

Another customer adds:

this booke is very stupid, just like all the other secular writers out in the world. quite frankly, they should not be writing about “worldly” things that do not affect people in any way whatsoever! after reading this book, your life will be the same as before you read it…why not read a book that will change your life and the way you think of things? what book is this? it is “THE BOOK”… the BIBLE! God loves you no matter what, but why not give your life to him as he gave his son for you? God Bless You and May Your Days Be Bright!!!


Daniel H. Lawrence (o_o) wishes to say:

Any intelligent person can see through his (Hamlet’s) character and realize that he is little more than a feeble mind with a large vocabulary. He is almost the mirror image of Lennie in OF MICE AND MEN, Barnaby Rudge in the Dickens’ book of the same name, Benjy in THE SOUND AND THE FURY, or Dogberry in Shakespeare’s own MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.



A customer:

Something like that could never happen in my country I’m happy in communist China

Another customer:

Goerge Orwell’s “1984” is nothing more than a sorry man’s method of taking out his anger at the world. Oh, sure, it is well written, but people make it into so much more than it really is. It is dark, depressing, and I finished reading it feeling like less of a human than when I started. Why is it that a work of literature that is so empty and void of any meaning is considered to be one of the best? I dont understand.
1984 is one of the biggest cult classic ever. The only difference is that some people say “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is very good, and some say it is very bad. I have only heard revered praise for “1984”.
It is innacurate, too. In “1984” the government influenced people’s minds, taking away their free will. In reality, that is not possible. When the Soviet Union collapsed, even those born into communism helped construct a democracy. Also, in “1984” the party is completely invinsible. It will remain in power forever. History tells otherwise. ALL empires fall. Humanity has been war-torn since it’s beginning, and after 5000 years, the world has managed to not be controlled by “Big Brother”.
Quote from “1984”: “Humanity is nothing more than one man shoving another man’s face in the mud”
So, “1984” tells us that humans are completely useless and we have no reason to exist.
Let’s take a look at Orwell. When he was not homeless, he lived in poverty. None of his books sold until after he died, and “1984” was one of his later books. Didn’t he have plenty to be hateful about?
The best books make you want to be a better person. “1984” does nothing but make you want to stop caring about everything.
“1984” is purely a work of fiction, but even though it is grossly unrealistic, it is treated like it was written by God.
There are so many better books out there, please don’t waste your time on such an unfufilling and stupid book as “1984”

Gulliver’s Travels

Um…this guy opines:

Well, I tried to read this book because I had to read a 12th grade reading level book because thats the level I read at, but I was bored from the start. It starts in words, but by the third page all I was seeing was “Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla. . .”

Then the little house blew up in flames and my interest was rekindled. But, disgustingly, I was turned off by this book because he peed on the flames to put them out. That is just totally gross. I immediately put down the book and honestly wished I could burn it.

If you want an actual GOOD book, try Lord of the Rings or The Count of Monte Christo. Don’t bother with this rubbish that somehow was published.