Rotten Reviews Redux by Bill Henderson
A Literary Companion

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The revival of a nasty bestseller!

A quarter century ago Pushcart Press took aim at ridiculous reviews that had trashed literary masterpieces through the centuries. Over 175 attacks were quoted in a little book that itself became a best-selling classic. Today much has changed. The rise of digital self-publishing has fired up hundreds of critical blogs. As the cliché has it everybody is a critic – and they’re often anonymous and far from nice.

This collection, with a new introduction, by Pushcart editor Bill Henderson includes gems like:

“The final blow-up of what was once a remarkable, if minor. talent.” (The New Yorker, 1936, on William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!)

“Diffuse…brackish…pretentious.” (Virginia Wolfe, 1922, on James Joyce’s Ulysses)

“Whitman is as unacquainted with art as a hog is with mathematics.” (The London Critic, 1855, on Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass)

“It gasps for want of craft and sensibility.” (New York Times Book Review, 1961, on Joseph Heller’s Catch-22) Illustrations

About Bill Henderson

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Bill Henderson is the author of "The Kid That Could", a novel, & two memoirs, "His Son" & "Her Father". He is the founder & publisher of Pushcart Press & the editor of the acclaimed Pushcart Prize series. He lives on Long Island & in Maine. Anthony Brandt is an expert in the history of travel and adventure and is the book review editor for "Adventure" magazine. He has edited more than 20 books for National Geographic and is a contributor to "GQ, Esquire," the "New York Times Sunday Magazine," and other publications. His edited "Journals of Lewis and Clark" has sold nearly 100,000 copies in special markets and the trade.
Published November 22, 2012 by Pushcart Press. 95 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Rotten Reviews Redux

The American Conservative

Either you are assigned a book to review or you pitch one to the editor because the book looks interesting or noteworthy based on the blurbs or the pre-publication reviews or because the author is famous and everyone is going to cover it.

Nov 13 2013 | Read Full Review of Rotten Reviews Redux: A Liter...

Edmund Wilson and Lionel Trilling published a novel apiece — and Trilling’s racked ambition to be a novelist is well known — but a single novel among alps of the nation’s most persuasive criticism does not a novelist make.

Nov 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Rotten Reviews Redux: A Liter...

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