Re: RARA-AVIS: Harriet Klausner

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 06 Jul 2000

I hadn't known who Klausner was either. Thanks for posting the article.

Now how does this help?

"What's scary about doing this is the power the reader bestows on you," says Klausner, 48. "I never forget the responsibility I have to the readers. I have to be honest. If I don't like a book in the first 50 pages, I won't review it.""

Now I know I'm making way too big a deal about this one person, but it raised an interesting question: Isn't omitting that she disliked some books "a lie"? How helpful, or trustworthy, is someone who likes everything?

I'm all for fans, I'm one myself. There are authors I read that I know aren't among the best, but are fun and fuel my love of the genre. But I wouldn't recommend them to others, well at least not others who aren't PI junkies like myself (for instance, though I believe the Crais books have gotten steadily better, I seem to be in the minority for actually enjoying the bad wisecracks for their badness).

Still, I far prefer a critical reader. Sure, I like the many -- too many, the piles are getting higher -- tips I've gotten from this list. However, I also value the pans and not always as "steer clears." If nothing else, they make me think about my preferences and many of the highly combative discussions have helped me figure out my own taste better.

As Tad Allagash said n Bright Lights Big City, "Taste, after all, is a matter of taste." But that taste should be strongly held. People who like everything, or never have a bad word to say, are boring, they clearly aren't really engaging the text.

So I guess what I'm really saying is, Nyanh, nyanh, we're better than she is!


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