'Fitzgerald Deserves a Good Shaking': Scathing Reviews of Classic Novels

These 15 critics may have felt silly later on.

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Charles Scribner's Sons

There are some literary classics that would seem to be near unimpeachable: works like Lolita, Ulysses, The Great Gatsby—the best of the best. Except that they're decidedly not unimpeachable—and they certainly weren't when they first hit bookshelves. These books and many others that are now considered masterpieces got their fair share of scathing reviews when they first came out, and in reputable publications (like one called The Atlantic).

Below, read 15 harshly negative early reviews of classic novels, and feel free to register your outrage (or your agreement) in the comments.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

Emily Temple is an editor at Flavorpill.

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