I know a few things about bad reviews. Two months before my first (and only) book came out, I received this review on my Goodreads page:
Horrid, horrid, really no words to describe it.
With those words, what was left of my innocence — both literary and otherwise — was lost forever. At the time, I didn’t think any bad review could hurt as much as this one. But what I learned with each subsequent bad review, and there were many of them (Kirkus referred to my book as “a string of embarrassingly unfunny one-liners…which rely on penises”), was that they always felt like a not-quite healed scab being chiseled from my skin. (author’s note: You like that goddamn immaculate simile work? I’ve got a book for you.)
But as painful as bad reviews are—and Jesus Christ are they painful—they are an inevitable byproduct when anyone shares their creative vision with the world. Movies are reviewed, books are reviewed, restaurants are reviewed, and even people are about to be reviewed. Recently, I’ve even done a bit of the reviewing myself, though I’ve tried my darnedest to not be unduly harsh about it.
While most people accept their negative reviews with grace, dignity, and pillow-muffled sobbing (author’s note: My one-liners about penises were gold! Gold, I tell you!), some brave/misguided/anger-mismanaged folks have attacked their detractors at the source. The results of this have ranged from terrible to Vincent Gallo and terrible, but this hasn’t stopped Mark Nery from Onefold in Denver, Colorado from giving it a try.
When Yelpers began leaving poor reviews for his restaurant, Mark retaliated by leaving negative reviews for those same customers on the restaurant’s Yelp page. And is so often the case in an impromptu bout of poop flinging, the results are both difficult to look at and too entertaining to ignore.
Here are a few highlights from Mark’s responses: