Meanest Reviews

(Via Crooked Timber) Kieran Setiya had a contest for the meanest review over at his blog.

The criteria of judgement were as follows:

The review must have a worthy target. Thus, I was forced to ignore, among other things, A. O. Scott’s review of Gigli.
The review may be grossly unfair, but…

It has to give good arguments, or memorable ones that contain a grain of truth.

Finally, preference was given to reviews that made good use of sarcasm.

The nominees are all reviews of philosophical works, perhaps with the exception of Garrison Keillor’s review of Bernard-Henri Lévy’s American Vertigo. Many of the reviews are scathing but insightful.