Why Howard Stern Fans Are Trashing His New Book
When Howard Stern’s Private Parts hit bookstores in 1993, it was an absolute sensation. The entire first printing sold out in a few hours. Soon, it became the fastest-selling book in the history of storied publisher Simon & Schuster.
Being a book by the vintage Howard Stern, it attracted its share of bad reviews from critics and plenty of opposition from groups offended by Stern’s words and subject matter.
Naturally, Howard’s fans didn’t see it that way. On his triumphant book tour, Howard got the rock-star treatment as Private Parts dominated owned the New York Times Best Seller list.
Twenty-five years and hundreds of good and bad interviews later, the King of All Media has delivered a new volume, Howard Stern Comes Again. While sales have been strong, we’ve seen the tables turned.
This time around, critics love the new Howard and his book, while legions of Howard’s fans have taken to trashing it online. (Since its publication, about half the reviews on Amazon awarded it “1 star.”) Here’s why the book has rubbed the Stern faithful the wrong way.
Stern fans call it everything from ‘awful’ to ‘sad,’ ‘terrible,’ and ‘a ripoff.’
Whenever you sort through online reviews, you’re going to get your share of the “best book ever” to “worst book in the history of the printed word.” But these days, it’s harder to get a bad rating. Amazon’s rating system gives heavier weight to positive reviews than negative ones.
In the case of Howard Stern Comes Again, you’ll find a stunning amount of negative feedback — and it’s all coming from Howard fans themselves (i.e., the audience for the book). Out of more than 1,400 reviews, 47% gave it the worst rating possible (1 star). Another 7% gave it the next-worst rating (2 stars).
To borrow a word from political pollsters, that puts Howard’s book underwater (deeply so). Not only are the overall ratings bad; the comments are shockingly dismissive of the material (and Howard himself). The top-rated review has a one-word headline: “sad.”
Dozens more line up the nastiness with quips like “boring AF,” “total bummer,” “trash,” and “terrible.” “Time to retire already,” one fan wrote, while another zinged, “Boring is an understatement.”
Fans wondered why there’s little new content and hate ‘the evolved Howard.’
On Amazon, you just see pages and pages of these reviews bashing the book. Two main themes recur: the fact it’s just transcripts, and the dislike of the “evolved” Howard. As for this new Howard, fans were very clear — they find the man boring and not funny in the slightest.
They don’t want to see the guy who goes on The View and plays nice, as Howard did in May; they want insults of the co-hosts. (Imagine what old Howard would say about Meghan McCain.)
Many fans also considered it a waste of money because of the lack of new content. Even though it was clear that the book was a collection of interviews, you read countless 1-star reviews wondering why anyone would just want to read transcripts of stuff they’d already heard.
In short, Howard’s fans consider their former hero’s new volume a pure cash-grab. And they consider his kinder, gentler persona the stuff that naps are made of.