Literary Hub

The 50 Best One-Star Amazon Reviews of James Joyce’s Ulysses

Today is the publication anniversary of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses; it is also Joyce’s birthday. Elsewhere on Literary Hub, I took a look at the very different responses other famous writers have had to Joyce’s most notorious work, but what about your everyday bookworm? Turns out, regular readers are just as torn as the professionals on the subject, and their responses range from excitement to confusion to disgust—but the most amusing reviews generally being the negative ones, I trotted myself into a rabbit hole reading one-star Amazon reviews for Joyce’s masterpiece. Yes, there are lots of them. As I read, I noticed something that (forgive me) I never had before: on Amazon, you can comment on other people’s reviews. And one commenter seemed to be piping up quite a bit in defense of Ulysses: his name is Leatherbags Reynolds. Leatherbags loves Joyce. And Goethe! On the other hand, Leatherbags hates Pynchon. Leatherbags is an enigma. Leatherbags is a hero. My favorite one-star reviews for Ulysses below—whether you’re on the side of Leatherbags or on the side of Old Wave: enjoy.

[Click to enlarge; note that comments are displayed in reverse chronological order]

More from Literary Hub

Literary Hub2 min read
Mona Awad On The Creepiness Of Cliques And College Towns
This week on So Many Damn Books, Mona Awad joins Christopher Hermelin and Drew Broussard to discuss her new novel, Bunny.  On the disturbing nature of college towns Mona Awad: I think my perspective of Providence was “holy shit, what did I step into?
Literary Hub12 min read
On The Weirdness, Wonder, And Terror Of The Contemporary Zoo
At the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, habitats include: –The Cat Canyon –Africa (which includes lions apparently unwelcome in the Cat Canyon) –Night Predators –The Reptile House –Dragons! (exclamation included in official habitat title) –Giraff
Literary Hub7 min read
How a New Generation of Nigerian Writers Is Salvaging Tradition from Colonial Erasure
“Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter,” Chinua Achebe wrote in Things Fall Apart. And the history of the hunt that was English literature and publishing, both in and about Nigeria, began de