Ask Me Another
4:11 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Everyone's A Critic

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:18 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

On stage right now, we have Rob Jacklosky and Lisa Gargiulo ready for our next game.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Now this is very special because we know you're both English teachers. Rob, you teach 19th century literature to college students. Lisa teaches mythology to seventh and eighth graders. It's a perfect match.

(LAUGHTER)

ROB JACKLOSKY: There is practically no difference between those two.

EISENBERG: It's exactly the same. It's a perfect match for this game that is called Everyone's a Critic. You see, for every universally loved piece of literature, there is someone out there who hates it. Hates it.

And thanks to the internet, we get to hear exactly how much they hate it. Thank you, World Wide Web. So we're going to ask you to identify best sellers and literary classics based on their one-star review on Amazon.com.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: We've edited them down a bit, but these are actual reviews from real people. Just to make it a little harder, we've removed the name of the author. We should probably say that the opinions in these reviews in no way reflect any of our feelings about anything, not even the game's writer.

"This is one of the most boring books I've ever read. The only exciting thing in the whole book was when the sharks appeared. I cared so little for all the characters, especially the main character, that I hoped that they were going to eat him. But nope, they ate his stupid marlin instead. When the reader is hoping for the hero to die, your book sucks."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Rob?

JACKLOSKY: "Old Man and the Sea."

EISENBERG: Yeah, it is so right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: "I, too, cannot believe the hype. This is a truly dreadful book full of shallow, unlikable, unbelievable characters. The plot is tortured, like the victims, and the dialogue is so clich├ę ridden, it almost rots on the page. I have never read a book where so many cups of coffee are brewed, smelled, sipped or downed, nor so many cigarettes shared between protagonists. Finishing it was an exercise in Swedish masochism."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Rob?

JACKLOSKY: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: "I used to feel bad about Sherman burning Atlanta, but that was before I read this book. Though it is very well written, it is very offensive to African Americans, women, and of course, Yankees."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Rob?

JACKLOSKY: "Gone with the Wind."

EISENBERG: "Gone with the Wind." Those cruel and viscous Yankees. You are correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: "I understand that autobiographies can be self-centered and naval-gazing."

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: "But the author is one of the most self-important, obtuse, boorish, annoying cretins ever to put pen to paper. I found the author stunningly un-empathetic and uninvolved in the world around here, no matter where she was, under what circumstances. And I, too, thought that her ex-husband is well rid of her."

"She has, by the way, since the book's publication, married her Brazilian lover and moved with him to New Jersey. So for all of her exploration, she is pretty much, like the song says, back where she started."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Lisa?

LISA GARGIULO: "Eat, Pray, Love."

EISENBERG: You got that one.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Did you read "Eat, Pray, Love?"

GARGIULO: I did. I agree with most of the review.

(LAUGHTER)

GARGIULO: It's good, but...

EISENBERG: "Since a less than one-star review is not allowed, this book gets the single star for the cute cover picture of the dog. That's the only redeeming quality of this paltry, overrated book."

"This book is really about a family of boring, mediocrities who just happen to own a dog. One gets the impression that the dog is nothing but a frustrating burden to them. And after reading half of this book, I was convinced the author was incapable of having a loving relationship with this dog or any other dog."

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Lisa?

GARGIULO: "Marley and Me."

EISENBERG: "Marley and Me" is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Rob is the winner of that round. Congratulations, Rob.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: He'll be moving on to our final showdown. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.