RachelAnne's Reviews > Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
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Jun 18, 07

Read in July, 1996

Hate! Hate! Oh, the hate! Arthur Miller does a beautiful job of conveying the emptiness and meaninglessness of his protagonist's life. It left me wanting to jump off a very tall building if only I could overcome the crushing ennui and the conviction that even ending ones life was too meaningless and futile to contemplate. Maybe that means Miller accomplished what he set out to do, but I don't have to like it.
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Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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James You don't have to like it at all. But since Miller in your own words accomplished what he set out to do, and conveyed it beautifully, why a one? Dark subject matter has to be touched.


RachelAnne Compiling all the dimensions of a literary work into a single axis for one 1-5 star review means that by necessity when "I hated it!" butts heads with the realization that a work was well executed, one of the two is going to win out in the rating. Since this is my personal Goodreads site, not a column I'm writing professionally, I choose to weigh my preferences over my judgement of "literary merit."


James That's fine. I couldn't do that though, rate something like this the same as I would "Twilight"...


David Hu The thing is, if I read something that made me feel all of the things you described, it'd be an automatic 5 stars.


RachelAnne You like it when a book fills you with a sense of crushing ennui, futility, emptiness and hopelessness to the point of near suicidality? Huh. For me, that's a turn-off. But if you dig all that, check out Ethan Frome. I really hated that one, too.


Daniel Alarcon Have you ever read, 'The Outsider' or 'A day in the life of Ivan Denisovich'?
Now that's depressing, not as depressing a giving 'Death of a salesman' one star but then again it's your opinion.


Jeremy Froncek Wow, you're an idiot. Please never give anyone else your opinion on literature ever again.


aykut what a conflicting person you are..


Nicki Your 1 star doesn't match your review, which sounded more like a 5 star to me.


Avinash K True you don't have to like but you are impressed :)
Exactly like when I watched "the boy in the striped pajama"...


message 11: by Jack (new) - added it

Jack Earlenbaugh I felt the same about The Crucible. It brought its point to the forefront of your mind so well that you ended the book feeling disappointed. I feel that the unhappiness of the ending truly allows the author to get his point across, even if the reader doesn't like it. I would have rated it higher though, just for the amazing execution of this idea.


Muntoo Meddler @Jeremy Froncek "Wow, you're an idiot."

What a beautiful argument. Learn to brain, please.


Damon No, he's right. You're a total dolt. If you found this book depressing you need to learn to suspend your disbelief and stop taking everything so personally.


Johnny ^Am I missing the sarcasm? A great piece of literature messes you up. I'm with RachelAnne on this one--Goodreads ratings aren't for academic opinions, or quality opnions alone. They're for "How did you like it?" Some people love any book that proves of a high quality. Some people look for more gut emotive reactions. Any slant is okay.

Frankly, I think we all need to step back sometimes and read books with our guts more. You can't just use them as an intellectual exercise or brain proving ground.

I rated Death 3/5 because I appreciate the work, I appreciate that it moves me, but I don't find myself in a daze of dynamic feelings afterwards. For me, that adds up to a 3. Maybe you rate books on 'quality' and quality alone, which is fine. But don't expect everyone to read and feel in the same manner you do. That would make for a boring world.

Sorry to get involved in an internet fight.


Patricia Leave her alone, people. I completely understand her point. One star means "I didn't like it" according to Goodreads. It doesn't mean "I think it's a terrible book" nor "I don't think anyone who loves literature should love this".


David Sarkies Yes, Death of a Salesman certainly does leave you wanting to throw yourself in front of a train.


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