One-Star Reviews

The Very Best Reviews of the Very Worst Products, C. Coville, Adams Media.

The concept of “One-Star Reviews” is simple—and inspired. The book is little more than a collection of quotes from one-star reviews posted online (with accompanying commentary by author C. Coville, a columnist and regular contributor at <i>Cracked</i>).  But that’s more than enough to make for a funny book, what with all the outrage and <i>crazy</i> that the Internet has to offer.

“One-Star Reviews” is divided into two parts: “Terrible Reviews” and “Terrible Stuff,” the former made up of reviews of products for which expectations are unreasonably high—or entirely misplaced. Consider the patron who disparaged the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory by writing: “Only go if you like butterflies.” And the individual who complained that the Sonic Alert SB1000 Sonic Boom Alarm Clock “was advertised as a vibrating alarm, but did not come with vibrator and seller could not provide vibrator.”

Yet the most remarkable reviewers are those that exhibit an air of entitlement.  As we all know, the word entitlement is most closely associated with millennials, but it seems it’s also prevalent among a certain class of Internet reviewers. There’s the gentleman who visited the Hooters in Culpeper, Virginia, and advised that he “was not satisfied with her figure at all. I am a lonely guy and when I go out I expect to see some double d *** and a J LO ***!!!” And an individual who dislikes Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, California, but claims to have a valid reason: “I only go to bookstores to read their tabloid magazines for free! Vroman’s has ALL their magazines on racks outside in front of their store. First of all they don’t provide tables (outside) for you to read. Secondly, the attendant outside is always glaring at you if you start flipping through a magazine for more than five minutes.”

The second half of the book is devoted to one-star products, restaurants, hotels, and books, with the reviews of the latter some of the funniest of all. Consider the bright light who gave one star to “The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories” because “ … it is no larger than a regular sized book of lesbian horse stories.” And the reader who dismissed Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” by saying: “Just because you CAN write a 1,000 page book, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.”