Read this wonderful article at The Examiner on the fifty best author vs author put-downs of all time.
Some of my favourites are Mark Twain on Austen: “Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone”. I can’t believe that Pepys thought this of one of my favourite Shakespearean plays (other favourites include The Tempest): “…we saw ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ which I had never seen before, nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life”. Having just finished reading Milton again, I have some sympathy with Johnson: “‘Paradise Lost’ is one of the books which the reader admires and lays down, and forgets to take up again. None ever wished it longer than it is.” The final bitch tome goes to one of the most out spoken writers of the twentieth century, yes it’s Norman Mailer in 1998 on Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full: “The book has gas and runs out of gas, fills up again, goes dry. It is a 742-page work that reads as if it is fifteen hundred pages long….At certain points, reading the work can even be said to resemble the act of making love to a three-hundred pound woman. Once she gets on top, it’s over. Fall in love, or be asphyxiated. So you read and you grab and you even find delight in some of these mounds of material. Yet all the while you resist — how you resist! — letting three hundred pounds take you over.”
Now, that is a review to have printed in your obituary or to don your boxing gloves for.