Friday, August 2, 2013

Opinions - Everyone's Got One

by Sue Ann Jaffarian

This week's question had to be the easiest question for me yet. Before I'd even finished reading the entire blog question, a book popped into my brain:

The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom.

It was a HUGE bestseller and I had enjoyed Tuesdays With Morrie so I bought and read it. I finish it and was very thankful it was not a big book.

This is the Amazon review I wrote on the book in 2004. I gave it 2 stars. BTW, I almost never give bad reviews on Amazon.

I loved Tuesdays with Morrie, but was horribly disappointed in Five People You Meet In Heaven. I found the premise interesting and the beginning very well done, but once Eddie got to heaven, I thought the book deteriorated into a bad marriage of It's A Wonderful Life and What Dreams May Come.

It is my opinion still that this book could have been so much more. It started with a great premise and took off with much promise. With more development and originality, it could have delivered on that expectation instead of dissolving into hokey sentimentality and ideas gleaned from other mediums. More than once I've wondered what did I miss that the millions who loved this book did not.

Then again, I'm sure if Mr. Albom read any of my books, he'd probably scratch his head and wonder what was I thinking when I put fingers to the keyboard.

What's that old saying?  Oh yeah: Opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one.

And to prove my point, here are some dismal reader reviews about some of my all-time favorite books, both classic and recent:

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee:  "There isn't a single insighful moment in this overrated piece of drek, and frankly it is an insult to intelligent readers everywhere..."

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand: "It may be the worst novel I've ever bothered to finish."

White Oleander by Janet Fitch:  "...a lot of it reads like a mediocre high school creative writing assignment written by a student who is very impressed with herself."

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens:  "If ever there was a novel that set out to have no meaning, no core, no arc, and most of all, no satisfaction, it must be Great Expectations."

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings: "The Yearling is an awful book!!!!!!!!!! Don't ever read it!!!!!!"

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen:  "The story was impossibly contrived, the dialog cliched and amateurish, the characters shallow and cartoonish."

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:  "This is the worst book I've read in a long time."

Murder In Vein by Sue Ann Jaffarian:  "Bloody, nasty, and totally unlikeable. I only gave the one star because there isn't apparently a way to give a book ZERO stars."


Catriona McPherson said...

I read this for a book club that was reading one of mine and this in the same month. Dear oh dear oh dear.

Joni said...

I actually liked this one, but I HATED Tuesdays With Morrie, by the same author. That book was so meaningful to so many people, but I just couldn't see it at all. I will not dis them, but I can't help dissing the book!

Lynn Sholes said...

Reviews can be humbling. Sometimes readers just don't like what you write and sometimes they love it.

Robin Spano said...

Ha ha. Brilliant way to show the subjectivity of all books. Love that you end on your own.