Hey, this could be fun!
Regular readers may recall that back in 2006 I played exactly this game with great works of literature. So how do I stack up in the stinker stakes?
(NB: please don't contact Amazon about these reviews, or pester the reviewers. (I've deliberately left their names off in order to make it harder to do that.) They're perfectly entitled to their opinions; as every novelist learns very early on, whatever you write, you can guarantee that at least 20% of the population will hate it. If you disagree with them, that's your problem, not theirs. I'm posting this for my own amusement, and because I happen to agree with John: "Own your one-star reviews, man. And then, you know. Get past them. If you’re lucky, some of them might actually be fun to read.")
So here they are ...
"A terrible piece of work... speed read through most of this dreadful book and threw in the trash afterwords.... I would not recommend another sentient being waste their precious time on this beautiful world..."
"I got through about a third of this book before I just gave up and took it back to the library. Dull, dull, dull!!!!!"
(<smug>That's all the one-star reviews Singularity Sky got. ...</smug>).
"Stross managed to thoroughly alienate me with the unpleasant characters, violence, and sick sex. I wanted to wash out my mouth and take a shower after one particularly graphic description. "
"His cynical, sarcastic political observations are as clumsy as they obvious."
"I gave it a good try based on all the good press and the Hugo nom, but it gave me a headache."
"While I will acknowledge that Stross' depiction of the future is imaginative, this book is devoid of both plot and characterization. It is no more than a bombastic showcase of his numerous technological ideas and an exercise in self-indulgence. "
"The writing is some of the worst I have ever experienced. "
"I didn't enjoy this book at all. It's a boring little whodunit, adorned with sci-fi artifacts.
The story in this book takes place in the world that exists at the end of "Accelerando". While "Accelerando" is fast-paced and fun, with a logical progression, this book is slooooooooooooooooooooow and full of contrived plot twists."
"This book was impossible to read. I read over 100 pages and still couldn't figure out what they were talking about."
"Reminds me of cheap SF comics of the 50s and badly written online adventure games."
(Tackling the Laundry novels was hard — I had to use two-star reviews because there aren't any one-star ones on Amazon.com ...)
The Atrocity Archives
"Reading this is like reading a geek's blog, lots of silliness, lots of attention calling gambits and lots of geek snobbery, where the author throws stuff in just to try to impress you with his knowledge. What I wanted was a magic wielding spy, what I got was a magic wielding spy who doesn't do spy stuff, throwing out explanations that make no sense and talking about his daily life living with other nerds."
The Jennifer Morgue
"This inedible Mulligan stew claims to emulate the ian Fleming superhero, with perhaps Batman & Wonder Woman ancestry. The plot is fast paced raggedly coherent with sexually explicit interludes, characters are obsessively one dimensional, and the story is unredeemed by excessive satirical attempts at humor."
(Skips a couple of books ...)
The Clan Corporate
"It seems that the author believed that the series would make him rich if he could keep the series going so he trashes the whole concept of the first two books to do it. The first two books were great but this one is so much of a disappointment that I would advise people not to start the series."
"I taught myself how to speed read to get through the dross."
"I bought it because I'm a sucker for finishing a series. DON'T DO IT. Put the mouse down and walk away. Do NOT check that box."