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The best writers in history are on Yelp

Austin-based author Neal Pollack wrote a series of tweets imagining if T.S. Eliot and Emily Dickinson wrote Yelp reviews.


Chase Hoffberger

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 26, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 8:13 am CDT

We’ve seen what can happen to a business when it’s thrown into the crosshairs of an army of negative Yelp reviewers: shutdowns, cease-and-desists, hilarity, chaos. It’s an ugly sight stemming from a series of ugly events, but what’s uglier, in fact, is the the manner of language some of these reviewers use to lambast the local enterprises.

Imagine, then, that Yelp reviews weren’t filled out by angry Chili’s diners but, rather, by some of the world’s most famous and iconic literary figures. That’s what Austin-based author Neal Pollack did this weekend. On Saturday morning, he shot off a series of tweets that imagined what it would be like if writers like Shakespeare, Shelley, and T.S. Eliot had the ability to follow up any meal with a series of quick-take 140-character reviews.

Robert Frost

“I took the road less traveled by but I was really disappointed. I expected more from this restaurant on my birthday.”–Robert Frost on Yelp

— Neal Pollack (@nealpollack) August 24, 2013

“Miles to go before I sleep. The bathroom was a little moldy and the concierge was rude. Comfortable bed, though.”–Robert Frost on Yelp.

— Neal Pollack (@nealpollack) August 24, 2013

Emily Dickinson

“Because I could not stop for Death, he kindly stopped for me. He charged me $70. I’ll definitely use him again.”–Emily Dickinson on Yelp.

— Neal Pollack (@nealpollack) August 24, 2013

“I had heard that ‘Hope’ was a great restaurant, which was why I was so surprised to find feathers in my entreé.”–Emily Dickinson on Yelp.

— Neal Pollack (@nealpollack) August 25, 2013

T.S. Eliot

“Restless nights in one-night cheap hotels. And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells. Next year I’m going to Cozumel”–T.S. Eliot on Yelp.

— Neal Pollack (@nealpollack) August 24, 2013

William Shakespeare

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Servers were rude, my lamb underdone. I won’t eat at this restaurant again.” –Shakespeare on Yelp.

— Neal Pollack (@nealpollack) August 24, 2013

Mary Shelley

“Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away. Not worth the $.” –Shelley on Yelp.

— Neal Pollack (@nealpollack) August 24, 2013

A few of his followers got in on the fun.

I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox; I was starving and the room service here sucks. – Wm Carlos Williams on Yelp @nealpollack

— Julian Smith (@Julianwrites) August 24, 2013

Dylan Thomas

“Do not go gentle into that good night. The lines are really long, and, in my opinion, the food is way overrated.”–Dylan Thomas on Yelp.

— Neal Pollack (@nealpollack) August 24, 2013

Walt Whitman

“O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; Never take a cruise with this company; Terrible customer service.” –Walt Whitman on Yelp.

— Neal Pollack (@nealpollack) August 25, 2013

William Blake

“Tiger! Tiger! burning bright. In the forest of the night. Don’t charge me $27 for two small, flavorless scallops.” –William Blake on Yelp.

— Neal Pollack (@nealpollack) August 25, 2013

Gwendolyn Brooks

“We real cool. We Left school. We wait in line three hours for a mediocre plate of ribs and watery iced tea.” –Gwendolyn Brooks on Yelp.

— Neal Pollack (@nealpollack) August 25, 2013

F. Scott Fitzgerald

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. THE MARGARITAS HERE RULE!”–F. Scott Fitzgerald on Yelp.

— Neal Pollack (@nealpollack) August 25, 2013

James Taylor

“When you’re down/and troubled/and you need a helping hand/do NOT call A1 Plumbing. They will rip you off big time!”–James Taylor on Yelp.

— Neal Pollack (@nealpollack) August 25, 2013

Lewis Carroll

“`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves. Still no excuse. When I pay $12 for ramen, my noodles better not be lukewarm!”–Lewis Carroll on Yelp.

— Neal Pollack (@nealpollack) August 25, 2013

Photo via William Shakespeare/Facebook

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*First Published: Aug 26, 2013, 9:28 am CDT