Good collections of bad reviews
April 6, 2018 9:04 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for reading material for a scheduled hospital stay, which will be entertaining for a shortened attention span. In a similar state in the past I've loved a couple of books of collected bad reviews - Ebert's Your Movie Sucks, and Jay Rayner's My Dining Hell. Are there similar books you'd reccomend? Or indeed books of similar short doses of cutting wit that would scratch the same itch?

I know there are other Ebert bad review collections. Ebooks are fine, but not websites as there is no wifi and phone signal is not great. Thanks!
posted by Vortisaur to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Defective Yeti had the Bad Review Revue.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:18 AM on April 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Get you a copy of The Portable Dorothy Parker. It has other things aside from reviews, but the reviews it has are delicious. And "short doses of cutting wit" is basically a synonym for "Dorothy Parker".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:39 AM on April 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: David Sedaris's books might fit this bill. Maybe also Bill Bryson?
posted by stillmoving at 9:44 AM on April 6, 2018

Best answer: My Year of Flops!

A Year At the Movies occasionally goes here, and is light and fun.

I'll second David Sedaris; I've sent books and audio books of his stuff to friends and family recovering from illness and gotten really positive feedback. He seems to be just the right length and engagement level for feeling crummy.
posted by tchemgrrl at 10:18 AM on April 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Lexicon Of Musical Invective
posted by thelonius at 10:23 AM on April 6, 2018

While slightly dated, something like the Fran Lebowitz Reader might work for you.
posted by praemunire at 10:26 AM on April 6, 2018

thelonius beat me to it. +1 for Slonimsky's "Lexicon of Musical Invective". Imagine, comparing Beethoven's music to the sound made by a dropped hammers and bags of nails...
posted by BillMcMurdo at 10:27 AM on April 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary. Out of copyright, so take a look and get a paper copy if it appeals.

E.g., MARRIAGE, n. The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 11:29 AM on April 6, 2018

You might like Lunch With Jan Wong, written by Canadian journalist Jan Wong. Wong used to have lunch with a wide selection of people and then write up the lunch date in a warts and all style for a regular "Lunch with Jan Wong" column in The Globe & Mail. If the person she was lunching with was at all rude or egotistical, Wong would, well, have them for lunch. It wasn't all roasting and skewering, mind you. Plenty of her lunch dates came off well in her columns because they behaved like reasonable and mannerly adults during their time with Wong. Bryan Adams did fine, for instance, while Margaret Atwood did not.
posted by orange swan at 12:39 PM on April 6, 2018

Best answer: MeFi's own jscalzi, aka SF writer John Scalzi, assembled a book of correspondence to his blog, "Whatever," called "Your Hate Mail Will be Graded."
posted by Sunburnt at 12:44 PM on April 6, 2018

Best answer: Second Act Trouble. It's about Broadway flops. I really liked it. Bonus, some of the cast lists shown in it contain actors who later became famous like Armin Shimerman and Carrie Fisher.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:29 PM on April 6, 2018

Best answer: Previously , which mentions Hatchet Jobs by Dale Peck and many others.
posted by JonJacky at 5:13 PM on April 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Diana Rigg compiled such a book of bad theater reviews called No Turn Unstoned. A coupe stnadouts, she put in a great terrible one abut herself, and another with an excellently phrased sick burn on James Earl Jones.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 5:14 PM on April 6, 2018

If I'm not too late: Holidays in Hell by P J O'Rourke.
posted by aqsakal at 6:27 AM on April 30, 2018

SECONDING "Holidays In Hell".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:37 AM on April 30, 2018

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