One-Star Reviews of Christmas Classics

Bah Humbug! These Amazon readers are completely unimpressed with Dickens, Thomas and all your other so-called holiday classics.

We here at Electric Literature love the holidays, and of course we love holiday books, too. But we also believe in dissent, debate and the steadfast truth that Amazon one-star book reviews are a national treasure. The Polar Express? More like The Local to Boring-town. Dickens? Who the hell is he? That kind of crankery was once the reserve of drunk uncles in ugly sweaters, but now, thanks to Amazon, all the world’s readers have a suitable megaphone for their contrary opinions. In the spirit of the holidays (that’s a pretty broad concept, right?), we’ve curated a truly marvelous selection of online critiques to some of the best-loved books of the holiday season. So, put on some Andy Williams, pour yourself a glass of disgusting egg-nog, scroll down, and prepare to enjoy the Ebenezer Scrooge-level sourpussery.

The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg

— “I seriously do not understand what the hype is. Bought on my husbands insistence, but it is a pretty lame book.”

— “such a famous story. so disappointing. no plot, not a story — just a whimsey thought. lovely drawings. nice last line. wasted money. wasted expectation.” [ed. note — Could this review be from our President-elect?]

— “This book is too dark for a 4 1/2 year old.”

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, by Dr. Seuss

— “Very weird book. Strange rhyming and nonsense ‘words.’ The people are drawn like some kind of aliens. And this Grinch character — I don’t know if it’s a talking animal or if he’s also an alien. Apparently the author is NOT an actual MD or PhD.”

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

— “I got bored. Maybe this book wasn’t my cup of tea.”

— “Charles Dickens stole this story. Ive seen this premise in several tv shows and christmas specials…”

— “I am bored with this story. It’s not as great as it is made to be.”

A Child’s Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas

— “[F]rom previous reviews i thought it would be a great book to read to the children before christmas, to get them in the mood for christmas it is boring and just waffles on with no real story.it didnt make me feel christmassy at all.”

— “I could not get into it.”

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, by Robert L. May

— “An abominable snow monster that eats reindeer and a mountain man that rips his teeth out?! I wanted some Xmas stories for my 2yr old…this is not what I had in mind”

A Christmas Memory, by Truman Capote

— “Well, his writing style is fabulous but i never seem to understand what he’s trying to say except the obvious itself”

— “I really didn’t care for this book at all.”

The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry

— “The book really did not reach out to me as a reader and I could hardly tell what was the message in the story. For me, this was deceiving and this is the worst book I have ever downloaded. I am not sure if this is even considered as a book. The story was very dull and out of topic.”

The Little Match Girl, by Hans Christian Andersen

— “This is a very sad book and should not be read on school grounds without the approval of a parent. These were very damaging thoughts that most 8–9 year olds would never have imagined in their life by this age. If the message is “be lucky to have what you have” then it should be left up to the parents and not the schools.”

— “Completely agree with all the 1 star ratings here. There are MUCH better ways to instill gratitude and compassion in young children than by fear. Wish I could return this book. I don’t even want to donate it because I don’t think any young child should read it.”

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