Short-sighted rejections of now-famous works
Compiled below are real excerpts from rejection notices stupidly sent to now-famous authors.
(Ever hear of Rudyard Kipling?) "I'm sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don't know how to use the English language."
(Upton Sinclair's The Jungle?) "Only fit for the wastebasket."
The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald?) "Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald deserves
a good shaking...The Great Gatsby is an absurd story, whether considered as
romance, melodrama, or plain record of
(Then there's The Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann.) "...she is a painfully dull, inept, clumsy, undisciplined, rambling and thoroughly amateurish writer whose every sentence, paragraph and scene cries for the hand of a pro. She wastes endless pages on utter trivia, writes wide-eyed romantic scenes...hauls out every terrible show biz cliche in all the books, lets every good scene fall apart in endless talk and allows her book to ramble aimlessly..."
(And Moby Dick by Herman Melville.) "It is very long, rather old-fashioned..."
(Here's what a guy named Yeats read in
(And what Nabokov read about Lolita...) "...overwhelmingly nauseating, even to an enlightened Freudian...the whole thing is an unsure cross between hideous reality and improbable fantasy. It often becomes a wild neurotic daydream...I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years."
(For Bridge Over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle...) "A very bad book."
(Here's a doozy for Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged...) "The book is much too long. There are too many long speeches...I regret to say that the book is unsaleable and unpublishable."
(And another for William Faulkner...) "It is so diffuse that I don't think this would be of any use. My chief objection is that you don't have any story to tell."
Cited: Rotten Reviews & Rejections edited by Bill Henderson & Andre Bernard
Clip of painting taken from Raphael's Adam and Eve Banished From Eden
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