Monday, May 28, 2012

Rotten Reviews and Rejections

As authors we always hate bad reviews and rejections. There is a small book that helps put this issue in perspective, aptly titled, Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections, edited by Andre Bernard and Bill Henderson. Here’s a sampling to let you know that you’re not alone, and even famous authors must face the same indignities:


Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert: “Monsieur Flaubert is not a writer.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare: “The most insipid, ridiculous play that I ever saw in my life.”


The Good Earth by Pearl Buck: “Regret the American public is not interested in anything on China.”

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie: “It is very interesting and has several good points, but it is not quite suitable for our list.”

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle: “Neither long enough for a serial nor short enough for a single story.”

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence: “For your own good do not publish this book.”

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand: “It is badly written and the hero is unsympathetic.”

And to Think I saw It on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss: “. . . too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.”

The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman: “If you insist on rewriting this, get rid of the Indian stuff.”

So take heart—when you become famous, you can tout your rotten reviews and rejections.

Mike Befeler

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