Look at it this way. It's like a mission statement and owner's manual for your life, so don't let it sit in a drawer or a file you never open on your computer. It's just there. The negative review, after all, is also a form of enthusiasm; enthusiasm and passion for the genre which, in this particular instance, the reviewer feels has been let down by the work in question.
They make me wary not of personal failure and defeat but of something more general, something large in scope and content. A favorite character or scene, sure; a favorite line of dialogue, maybe; but not a favorite sentence.
Now read this from McCarthy's The Crossingpart of the acclaimed Border Trilogy: "He ate the last of the eggs and wiped the plate with the tortilla and ate the tortilla and drank the last of the coffee and wiped his mouth and looked up and thanked her.
I learned about other things. To anyone who calls that excruciating, DeLillo might well respond, "That's my whole point! And, on top of that, reminiscent of other manifestos and events. But it's not a question of greatness.
Write a manifesto. David Guterson is thus granted Serious Writer status for having buried a murder mystery under sonorous tautologies Snow Falling on Cedars,while Stephen King, whose Bag of Bones is a more intellectual but less pretentious novel, is still considered to be just a very talented genre storyteller.
DeLillo's characters talk and act like the aliens in 3rd Rock From the Sun, which would be fine if we weren't supposed to accept them as dead-on satires of the way we live now.