The 50 Best One-Star Amazon Reviews of James Joyce’s Ulysses
Or: the Ballad of Leatherbags Reynolds
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]