I came to Amazon after reading a plea the author made in his Slate blog to counter the boomerang reviews his unfortunate comments about Breitbart were causing. I'm glad I did. What a hoot. Aside from the wit (yes, even in the puns), there are some highly polished hand grenades to be found here. Haven't read the book, but I think Mr. Yglesias could do worse than to take some of these critiques to heart before embarking on any future publishing projects. (Many of them seem to be saying: read something outside of Think Progress position papers when doing the research...)
According to M. Yglesias's Wikipedia entry, Andrew Sullivan - another blogger who is no stranger to controversial statements about public figures, or their pregnancies - bestows the "Yglesias Award" on politicians or pundits who criticize their own side or make enemies among political allies. Yglesias, as we know, does just fine making enemies among his political foes as well. So in this spirit, I think it's fitting to come up with a different spin on the Yglesias Award - call it the "Enrique," if you like - for literary criticism on Amazon. Here I offer my top five reviews of The Rent is Too Damn High:
5. Concise, pithy commentary is often overlooked. But Scott not only displays the power of brevity, he also gives an assist to our No. 1 entry in the process:
Horrible "I brought this book into my home and my dog ran away. True story. He was a good dog and will be missed."
4. I smell peanut butter! And so does J. Rabbit, who comes in at No. 4 with an absurdist gem. The poetry of the language used to describe the sandwich-making process is something to behold:
Painfully Obvious "Yesterday I made the most delectable peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I threw caution to the wind and decided to tempt the Gods of fate (as well as risk great condemnation from my Nanny-Stater betters) and make my sandwich the tasty way. The bread was fresh, soft, refined white bread. With all due consideration, I chose a creamy peanut butter - so as not to engulf my sandwich with needless texture. As a practical standard I reverted to grape jelly, merely to reminisce memories of my childhood. I slathered on a 2:1 ratio of peanut butter to jelly. As my taste buds filled with anticipation I sunk my teeth in and took my first bite. I was instantly transported to 1979 in a loud cafegymatorium. It was in this instant that I realized that I had no interest in being in this place or time. 1979 was NOT a good year, and that place smelled ghastly; much like the poppycock that Yglesias has spewed in this book."
3. Amongst the many Sasquatch references and allusions to trysts with barnyard animals, a few of the more delicate critiques rose above the heap. While almost losing me in the My Little Pony references, Croaker finds redemption in the excerpt below with a subtle reference to the author's picture on Slate:
Fails to live up to the McMillian standard "...Other reviewers have commented on the odd animal-related content, and many of the photographs are indeed quite off-putting, but I was most taken aback by the inclusion of an unproduced script for a Lifetime Original Movie titled "The Neckbeard Seduction" - it just seemed like an odd epilogue for a book about housing. Possibly there are some nuances that I'm missing but all in all, a disappointing read."
2. Similar to our No. 3 entry, what started out as a rather pedestrian attempt by Buzzsaw90, ended up taking my breath away with a topical slam of such clever design that I almost choked on my peanut butter sandwich:
Reading this has given me "...on the plus side, the spelling errors were not egregious and the words did tend to make more sense when read from left to right. Think I'll ship my copy to Gitmo on the off-chance that a terrorist will write secret notes in it so that the Marines can burn it."
1. And, drum roll please, coming in at No. 1 is an oldie, but a goody. Am I a sucker for Bob Hope-esque comedy clichés? Perhaps. But this one from CowDog, which played off our No. 5, caused me to laugh out loud:
Wife loves it "After reading the review about the dog running away I too bought this book in hopes that it would make my wife run away. Well she's still here and now I have a horrible book to go along with her. I still think it was worth a shot but the product just didn't live up to expectations."
If I was M. Yglesias, I would not hesitate to tape these to my refrigerator door as a badge of honor. Anyone who inspires this kind of creativity should take some pride in it...
All brilliantly funny. Don't count out the Julio Iglesias/son reviews. They would be a great addition to the book. And the one about the autographed copy. And the one from Charleen Larson. Side splitting.
Good considerations, all. But if I had to pick just one honorable mention, I would include this novel approach by Bluedog803. Whether it's borrowed from a boot camp scene in Full Metal Jacket or some other film, I can't recall. But who cares, it works for me...
It's Not Matt's Fault "Matt Yglesias has dishonored himself and dishonored the platoon. I have tried to help him. But I have failed. I have failed because YOU have not helped me. YOU people have not given Matt Yglesias the proper motivation! So, from now on, whenever Matt Yglesias messes up, I will not punish him! I will punish all of YOU! And the way I see it ladies, you owe me for ONE HORRIBLE BOOK! NOW GET ON YOUR FACES!"