In addition to being an author and public intellectual, Fran Lebowitz is also a prolific Amazon reviewer.
Here are some of her most helpful one-star product reviews.
Garlic Salt (Three-Pack)
Are we this lazy?
We can’t chop garlic?
We need to flavor salt?
Salt is already a flavor.
We’re flavoring a flavor.
Welcome Mat (Seventeen Inches by Thirty Inches)
I don’t like welcome mats.
They set an expectation that a guest in my apartment will actually be welcome.
Which isn’t always the case.
Instead of “Welcome,” it should say “O.K. Fine. You’re here. I’m here. Let’s get this over with.”
And there should be another mat for on the way out that reads “You see? Was this really necessary? I think a phone call would’ve sufficed.”
“Ultimate Foodie Cookbook” (Hardcover)
I despise the term “foodie.”
I mean, how is this a personality?
“I like food”—how original.
Do you also like air?
Hammer (Sixteen Ounces, Craftsman)
What are we hammering?
Why do we, as humans, feel this need to put holes in things?
See, this is why I love New York.
I’ve lived in my apartment for thirty-five years.
I’ve never made a single hole.
There’s nothing hanging on the walls.
Even if I die here, I’m getting that security deposit back.
Rubik’s Cube (Hasbro)
You finish it.
Congratulations, you have a slightly more attractive cube.
Portable Cement Mixer (Ryobi)
Thank goodness it’s portable.
For when I need to mix cement, on the go.
You see, this is the problem with society.
We’ve become so fixated on this idea of multitasking—getting multiple things done at once—that we can’t even mix cement without texting and eating a sandwich.
If your job is mixing cement, just focus on the cement, O.K.?
Lunch can wait.
Crayons (Crayola, Sixty-Four-Count)
You never see something written in crayon and think, Now this I gotta read.
The crayon is the tool of children and idiots.
If the Declaration of Independence were written in crayon, we wouldn’t be a country today.
No one would take it seriously. They’d go, “What is this, a placemat?”
Selfie Ring Light (with Tripod)
People have this need to be constantly filming themselves.
I don’t understand why.
They think that something interesting might happen.
They don’t want to miss it.
Let me clue you in—nothing interesting ever happens.
Maybe ten truly interesting things happen per year.
None of them in your apartment.
Five-Piece Drum Set
The people who bought this product shouldn’t be reviewing it.
Their neighbors should be.
They’ll give you the honest review.
Amazon Echo Show 8 (Smart Display with Alexa)
I often think, There aren’t enough things spying on me.
Let’s add another.
But this time let’s cut out the middleman.
I mean, it’s truly something.
People are intensely private.
And yet they will put a robot in their kitchen.
With a camera.
And a microphone.
And talk to it.
What can I say?
Dry Shampoo (Pantene)
Coasters (Set of Five)
Listen, just by their name, they’re telling you they don’t do much.
They hold your drinks.
Don’t expect anything more.
And, by the way, I endorse this as a general life style.
Paper Shredder (Amazon Basics)
Do you work for the C.I.A.?
Then let me save you some time—keep your documents in one piece.
No one is rooting through your garbage.
No one cares.
Once you learn that, everything in life will make sense.
No one cares.
Or about anything.
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” by J. K. Rowling
I’ve never read “Harry Potter.”
I never will read “Harry Potter.”
Do you know why this is?
Because I’m not twelve.
I’ve had people—adults, mind you—tell me that I need to read this.
“You need to read it.”
These are things I need to do.
Then there are the things I want to do.
Which are not many.
So there are things I need to do, and things I want to do.
And I can tell you—“Harry Potter” is not on either list.
Metal Detector (Ace 300)
If you see an adult using a metal detector, you know something has gone terribly wrong.
He’s lost something.
And I say “he”—you never see a woman with a metal detector.
It’s always a man.
So he’s lost one of two things.
His wedding ring.
Or, more likely, his mind.
And he’s listening for beeps.
He’s shut out the rest of the world.
He’s only focussing on . . . the beeps.
This is what happens when you have a country that’s obsessed with material wealth.
This is the last domino of American capitalism.
A man with a metal detector, looking for buried treasure.
by Fran Lebowitz