RARA-AVIS: Critics again....

Kevin Smith (kvnsmith@colba.net)
Sun, 4 Apr 1999 09:19:04 -0500 >I believe you fail to understand the importance and purpose of an American
>critic ... if they hate it, we buy it ... if they like it, we don't ... and
>then at the end of the year they revise their opinions to fit what was
>popular ... ;)

Paul, you have five minutes for rebuttal...

C'mon, some critics are good, some are bad. Damning all critics is like
boasting that you don't watch television. It sounds good on the surface,
but that's about as deep as it gets. It's not that simple. And my guess is
that American critics are no better or worse than any others. To me, a good
critic or reviewer or whatever you call 'em is one who can make you concede
his point, even if you don't necessarily agree with it. There are folks on
this very list, some of them who write reviews, whose opinions I may argue
with, but that I deeply respect.

Yes, some books that critics don't like sell really well. And some they do
like don't sell at all. But many bestsellers really do suck. Popularity and
critical respect are too different things, although, fortunately, not
always mutually exclusive.

And I don't think the vast majority of their fans have ever actually
bothered to read a review of perennial bestsellers like Danielle Steele or
Tom Clancy or Chicken Soup is Good for Dummies, favorable or not, anyway.

Kevin Smith
The Thrilling Detective Web Site

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