Publishers Weekly’s blog has named the Worst Book Ever, and it’s pretty bad. But the Amazon reviews of Microwave for One are themselves delightful little vignettes of fiction:
It used to be that I got home from work and the only thing I’d want to put in my mouth was the cold barrel of my grandfather’s shotgun. Then I discovered Sonia Allison’s Chicken Tetrazzini, and now there are two things.
This book is all you need for all the cooking you will ever do. Yes, even when you’re cooking for more than one! Impossible you say? Well, I thought so too, but that’s wrong!
After years of mastering the art of microwaving for one, not needing anything else, I was shocked to hear a sound of what I vaguely recollected being my doorbell.. When I opened the door, I was surprised be face to face with the frankenstein monster I had created decades ago. Back then he ran away real soon after his creation, probably due to malnutrition, leaving me alone yet again. Now, after all these years, he had finally returned to say hello. And he wasn’t alone, he had brought his new family: a young sexy wife and two weird but lovely children. Of course I was happy with the prospect of all the possible attention I could get, so without thinking I invited them for dinner.
But soon I realized they were going to be starving to death. What was I thinking? I can’t even cook for two, how am I supposed to cook for five? This was madness! It just couldn’t be done! Only one of us would eat tonight, that was it.
When I shamefully brought this painful news to my guests, this genius monster of mine had the perfect solution: just have some more delivered! And he just mentioned it so casually, like it wasn’t the greatest idea of the century!
So, right away I called in for a special delivery: four more microwaves! Now I can cook for five people ANY day! This book is AWESOME!
And then there’s this one, most timely for a book published in 1987:
I found this book on the kitchen counter of an elderly woman’s house after serving her foreclosure papers. I needed something to read because while we waited for the ambulance to arrive, she had the audacity to collapse before signing away the rights to her property.
I assumed that this ‘microwave’ was a trendy new style of cooking. I’ve had liquid nitrogen prepared uni; I figured using a ‘microwave’ would be another way to elicit and accentuate the subtle flavors of this dish. Most importantly, I wanted to be the first to share my discovery at the country club.
Suffice it to say, I found no recipes for any of the basic foods. No recipes for wagyu beef, Kobe beef, Chilean Sea Bass, toro, arugula, or any of the other staples of a balanced diet.
Instead, I found mystery meats such as ‘chicken’, ‘ground beef’, and ‘casserole.’ The only ingredient I recognized was bacon, but once our servants prepared them in our ‘microwave’ (it turned out we already had one in the servants’ quarters!), the bacon became so stiff that the servants couldn’t even wrap it around the filet mignon for our Chihuahua’s dinner.
I find it appalling that there are so many positive reviews for a cookbook that excludes myself and the fellow job creators of my class. However, I have been inspired to put my servants to work on a book of recipes for the ‘microwave.’
My title: Microwave for the 1%
It’s hard to believe, but there must be worse books out there than this. Any suggestions?
- What writers can learn from “bad” books
- Charles Baxter discusses when bad reviews are usefuland when they’re just “Owl criticism”
- Possibly worse than bad cookbooks: bad sex scenes.