Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ridiculous Reviewers on Amazon: Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol

Ahhhh, Christmas. The lights are lit, the bells are ringing, the children are singing, the average weight of adult Americans is creeping upward thanks to the cheery glow of the cookie-filled ovens. It's a wonderful time of year.

And, as if to make it more wonderful, it's time for another Ridiculous One Star Review from Amazon, these particular reviews for the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. For those who don't know, A Christmas Carol is the story of a miserly businessman who receives four ghostly visitors who help him to see the meaning of Christmas and the need to be generous toward those less fortunate than him. It's a fun story, and rightfully a classic. But that won't stop our reviewers! No! YOU CAN'T STOP US FROM RATING A CLASSIC WITH ONE STAR! This is, after all, America.




I'm saving my favorite review for last, but let's start with Chris Brown of Boston, MA, who says, in part:


There can be no arguing with Dickens's wish to show the spiritual advantages of love. But there was no need to make the object of his lesson an entrepreneur whose ideas and practices benefit his employees, society at large, and himself. Must such a man expect no fairer a fate than to die scorned and alone? Bah, I say. Humbug."
Uh-oh. Looks like someone is about to get a midnight visit from a deceased co-worker! I'm pretty sure the point, Chris Brown, is that Scrooge's practices weren't benefiting anyone other than himself. Remember Bob Cratchitt? Remember tiny Tim? Remember everyone else who ever crossed his path? 


Poodley Beagle Ellis (REAL NAMEtm) says it's "The stupidest, most confusing book in the world."  Wow!


But my favorite one star review came from John Doe of New Jersey, who said several things of note including:

Before reading A Christmas Carol, I automatically gave the book the highest regard probably because I was influenced by the Disney's movie version, at least that's what I thought the book will be like. It didn't turn out to be the case. 



Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the character
of Scrooge was not even a duck!
Yes, it's always a disappointment to fall in love with the Disney version and then discover that the original was different somehow.


John Doe goes on to complain about the "five dollar words" and that Scrooge gets hand-picked for a Christmas tour. John would prefer someone "worthier" be chosen. He also found the book "too religious." In a spiritual sense.


Lastly, Mr. Doe shares what I think is my favorite critique of the tale when he writes, "I didn't like the part where a character is judged by how he views money."  Alas, neither did poor Mr. Scrooge!


And that is all for today's One Star Review. Merry Christmas and a hearty BAH HUMBUG to all of you!