23 June 2014

One-Star Revue: Hillary Clinton, LIVING HISTORY

This year, Hillary Rodham Clinton released her second memoir HARD CHOICES. HARD CHOICES, also the unpromising name of a very good ethics class offered at my university (aka the Best School Ever), has variably been reviewed as boring, unnecessary, overwritten, and too safe -- and that's from all from people who would strongly consider voting for her. She sure is polarizing! But let's face it, these memoirs are no fun anyway. As the commentators on Slate's Political Gabfest recently pointed out, the only good political memoirs are ones from people with nothing to lose (career-wise), and however you feel about Fmr. Secretary Clinton, you can't say she would fall into that camp.

Should we journey back to 2003 and the release of Clinton's first memoir, LIVING HISTORY, the story is pretty similar. But is there any hilarity in the vituperative heap of one-star reviews that attended that book? Already, HARD CHOICES' Amazon customer review section is overrun with one-star reviews from people who just don't seem to like the author and have nothing of substance to say on the book. Moreover, most of them aren't funny, and seem to fault the book's author for painting herself in a positive light. Isn't that what these books are intended for? Consider the source! At least the older ones are funnier -- take a look:

  • "LIVING HISTORY is basically the mass-market, nationally published equivalent of one of those big, splashy (but completely respectable, & in no way offensive to the Establishment or, most of all, the Principal) student-body election campaign posters from back in high school."
  • "This book could pass for a grainy selfie in print." Note: this review is from 2014, it's not just abnormally prescient. 
  • "I pride myself for having read many autobiographies. This book just lost me."
  • "This book is just about as dumb and unneccessary as California." "Rude." --California
  • "I just receiver my book and to day the price is much cheaper. Why do I have to pay more because I order early? I don't think that is fair Do you? I will not buy from Amazon if I don't hear from you. Unhappy customer. Beware before you buy." I hope this person isn't still waiting to hear. 
  • "The book was written completely by a ghost writer, not by Hillary." You're catching on! 
  • "[A] big sale does not make a book great, even though meager sale indicates inferiority." This review is also titled "What A Irony" which I nominate for official one-star hashtag of the week. #WhatAIrony
  • "Very boring, unrealistic." ???

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