March 13, 2006

On Great Bad Reviews


Have you ever read an unfavorable book review that unintentionally made the book sound totally awesome?

Well, that's what happened for me with this brutal review of Kate DiCamillo's Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. I'm totally going to order this from Amazon once I find some money.

Posted by Dr. Frank at March 13, 2006 07:40 PM | TrackBack

My God what was she trying to do, scar children's minds for life? I agree the book sounds cool but not for kids. Want a really weird and disgusting read? Try "The Taking of Sleeping Beauty" by Anne Rice (1st in a trilogy). It was recommended to me by somebody and I didn't get the joke until after I read it.

Posted by: Zaphod at March 13, 2006 09:54 PM

You should read Edward Tulane - I reviewed it in my column this month and thought it was really good. It's a sweet story, but you know that going in. What surprised me was how well she managed to make it more than just sweet. Honestly, I was really impressed by this book!

I requested a review copy of your book a little while ago. I hope I get it so I can write about it at Bookslut!

Posted by: Colleen at March 13, 2006 11:35 PM

Edited to add:

You know, I think a lot of people forget what the original fairy tales are like and maybe that's why Edward Tulane seems so awful. I got the fact that Di Camillo was giving us an old fashioned read and as for Edward, well, the fact that he is an ass in the beginning is what made me keep reading the book. I don't know, we all like different stuff and part of why I enjoyed this so much was that it was such a different take on an old story. (The Velveteen Rabbit)

So hate me - I like my bunnies to suffer! ha!

Posted by: Colleen at March 13, 2006 11:39 PM

I'm the same way, Colleen. That book would not ordinarily have been on my radar, but the review really made it sound great and I'm definitely going to check it out. I especially like the scarecrow bunny crucifixion. The art looks great, too.

Posted by: Dr. Frank at March 14, 2006 12:00 AM

From the review:

"What, exactly, are they meant to take away from this tale, with its hammer blows of random brutality, its weirdly malevolent adults..."

Reality, I guess.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at March 14, 2006 12:14 AM

There are some reviewers that I can be certain I will like what they don't.

Posted by: Manda at March 14, 2006 03:31 AM

I guess I just can't remember how old you are when you are 7. Is that a good age to be reading stories about a rabbit watching a little girl die? I just noticed the girl reading the CBS overnight news is a total knockout tonight. I think she is a fill-in. Great eyes. Anyway I understand when a book like this teaches a kid that old people (like grandma)eventually die but this one might just say "hey kid, it could happen to YOU TOO!" That being said it does look interesting and you can't judge a book by a few blurbs right?

Posted by: MArk at March 14, 2006 09:04 AM

That was certainly the worst bad review I've ever seen. The world would be a better place if people realized just how difficult it is to warp a child's mind.

Posted by: josh at March 14, 2006 02:33 PM

I read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane a few weeks ago. It was fun and dark. Like Pinocchio or Zipes' translations of the Brothers Grimm. One of the best kid books I've read this year.

Posted by: Lane at March 14, 2006 07:00 PM

Holy Crap!!! A sound clip of "...And I Will Be With You" was on some MTV Reality show. I don't know why, but they've been doing sound clips of punk bands like the Living End and the Methadones (Danny Vapid of Screeching Weasel/Riverdales/Mopes).

I literally just walked in the room and heard it on my roommates TV. Does MTV have to contact you about using your music in their shows?

Posted by: Grant at March 15, 2006 01:09 AM

Maybe they don't have to contact him. Rush Limbaugh (he's all my boss listens to...there should be OSHA regulations against that) uses a Pretenders song as his theme song, even though Chrissy Hynde said she hates him and can't force his show to stop it.

Posted by: David Cummings at March 15, 2006 04:53 AM

I just saw Kate speak. She was fantastic. Although I had originally thought that the book would be sappy, she read part of it aloud and it was sad and freaky and funny and great.

I ALSO know two classes of second graders that the book is being read to, and both groups love it and think it is FUNNY. All this talk of love and broken hearts and whatnot fails to catch the warmth and humour of DiCamillo's writing. Stupid adults.

Posted by: Jennifer aka literaticat at March 15, 2006 06:13 AM