RARA-AVIS: Re: reviews (was: Introduction)

From: winter_writes@earthlink.net
Date: 14 Oct 2004

<<<"shit" was my own word, in summing up what a critic is saying about a book when he writes a damning
(well-argued or otherwise) piece:>>>

A reviewer's primary responsibility is to the reader, not the writer, not the publisher. In fact, one of the best-written reviews I've read panned Kevin Wignall's FOR THE DOGS (which I'd read and liked very much.) The tone of Patrick Anderson's review was, "Look, this didn't work for me, but it might be worth checking out anyway." Anderson not only said he didn't like the book, but conceded he was probably in the minority.

That's not the same as doing a hatchet job on a book because you want to show how cool you are. I've read too many of them as well. But a thoughtful negative review might, if the reviewer tells me what his qualms are, prompt me to actually buy the book. As long as I have a filter for his opinions, I can get a feel for whether I'd like the book or not.

Jim Winter

http://www.jamesrwinter.com http://jamesrwinter.blogspot.com winter-newsletter-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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