clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This guy calls himself the Lord High Executioner of the Amazon One-Star Review

I has books. I hate them.
I has books. I hate them.
(Found Animals Foundation)

According to his profile at Amazon Reviews, Chris Roberts is a "prolific short story writer," who has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. But according to some other people, Chris Roberts is a troll.

Roberts, who refers to himself as Lord High Executioner of the Amazon One-Star Review, has earned a reputation for handing out … one-star reviews of books.

If you go to his Amazon page, you'll see that he's reviewed 547 books to date. Of those, most of the reviews are scathing. But his wrath doesn't end there. See, many of those reviews are also written in verse.

Yes, verse.

Like this review, which he wrote about a book by Joyce Carol Oates.

Roberts poetry Amazon

Only 10 percent of the more than 28,000 readers who voted on Roberts' reviews found them to be helpful.

Joe Veix opined about Roberts' motivation over at Death and Taxes: "I almost sympathize with him. I have a sinking feeling that he's incredibly alone in the world. That seems like the only justification for all of his actions."

Veix pointed to an interview Roberts did with OTBKB, where he described a childhood that, if true, is certainly capable of evoking sympathy:

When young we lived in the Bensonhurst section. I played stick ball and other sundry street games with the sons of Mafia killers. When my father left at twelve, I was shipped upstate and went to five different high schools. I had friends-in-transient and mention such not for sympathy, but am merely relating a fact. I was in the Navy and thereafter worked in the horticulture field. To answer you other question, I identify with the violent radical and have much respect for the causes of Spartacus and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Regardless of his motivations, the fact remains that Roberts loves to hate books — even books that most people love. Like ones by Marilynne Robinson, David Foster Wallace, and Nora Ephron.

If you'd like to enjoy the pure, beautiful anger of Roberts's reviews, you can do so at his Amazon page. Or you could just spend some time reading the books he's viciously panned, many of which are quite good. Whatever seems like a better use of your time to you.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.