Have you ever received any negative reviews that were really funny? Most authors have.

STORM DANCER cover published  11Jan13

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 (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 (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.”

BITES cover 07Aug2012Living  & 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 (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.”

Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts (short story anthology)

“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.”

“I haven’t read it yet, but Amazon pressed me for a review.”

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.”


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.”


Which of these reviews do you find funniest?

If you’re a writer, have you ever received a funny negative review?

Please click the book covers to read more about Rayne Hall’s books on Amazon.





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  • P. T. Barnum used to say: “Print anything you want to about me, but spell my name right.” He obviously wasn’t talking about book reviews. These reviews are absolutely classic.

    • P.T. Barnum’s request would be even more important in the internet age, with SEO and search engines trawling for names in connection with keywords. …
      I had fun compiling this list. Even the most recent ones – those for Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, where the reviewers hadn’t read the book – failed to annoy me. I cheered “Yay, more fodder for my silly-reviews collection.”

  • Rayne, I loved these. The closest I can come is a one-star I received on a football murder mystery I wrote in which I described part of a game in which Alabama bested Auburn. I felt bad about it until I realized the reviewer was from Auburn. LOL. SW

    • LOL. It’s amazing what motivates reviewers’ emotions, and how some are not able to view the book as a work of fiction.

  • They’re all as brilliant as each other!

    • I’m also fond of them all. In isolation, they’re just silly, but bunched together, they create a lot of fun.

  • Cassandra Davis

    From one review of my sci-fi novel:
    “The whole thing just felt a bit like so much other sci-fi I had read before but done much better!” (I have a feeling that’s not how he meant that sentence to come out.)

    “It took a while to really get going and there was a lot of technical description which reminded me of everything I hated about Star Trek!” (I’m so sorry my SCIENCE fiction book had too much science in it for you. Also, thanks for comparing my book to one of the most successful sci-fi franchises of all time.)

    Your funny (ok, lets be honest, they were bat-crap insane) reviews were more chuckle inducing than mine. Thanks for the laughs.

    • I’ve had some reviews of the annoying kind, too. The ones I’ve selected for this post at least have the benefit of giving us a good laugh. 🙂

  • Darrell Case

    Review of my novel Out of Darkness on Barnes & Noble

    This is the most poorly written book I have ever read. There are grammar and spelling errors throughout the book; I’m estimating over 50 errors. The storyline was interesting in the beginning of the book, however, by the time you get to the 4th murder that appears to occur within a small timeframe, the book becomes boring.

    There is no 4th murder. By the way the book now has 14 5 stars on Amazon.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Those who sit around and do nothing but write negative reviews for the fun of it are the same kinds of people who kick kittens and beat up the homeless in the street.

  • Angela Castillo

    Funny! Great article! If you are a writer trying to get reviews you might want to read my blog article on the subject: http://momscribbles.blogspot.com/2013/10/how-to-get-people-to-review-your.html

  • Zed Amadeo

    Gotta love that review about the non-existent Queen Matilda!

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