Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reviewing the Reviewer

“A good review is considered nepotism; a bad one, professional jealousy. Can
authors be trusted to make a fair assessment of their rivals' work?”

There was an interesting article recently in the Guardian online blog about writing book reviews and reviewing books in general. Here is the link: http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/03/reviewing_the_reviewer.html

What was most interesting, was the comments people left - some of them from renowned authors. One author claimed this might be the nastiest review ever of one of their books: www.sfjohnson.rtsquad.org/wordpress But, they also pointed out that a bad review is better than no review at all. It can often encourage readers to buy the book to see for themselves.

I review books for the Write Away website and I have reviewed books I don’t like. I was very tactful. I am of the opinion that even though I may not like it other people might. Everybody’s tastes are different. I am very honest and do suggest the type of people who may be interested in the book. For an example of me being tactful take a look at: The Teacher's Guide to Grammar and Literacy Matters.


Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

It's a contentious business, book reviewing. I did a review last year for the debut novel of a fellow blogger. I really enjoyed the book, fun plot, great characters, lots of colour but I did feel the editing could be a lot tighter. Needless to say I quickly became persona non grata. But I honestly believe one has to point out both what works and what doesn't - otherwise it is just nepotism.

Anita Marion Loughrey said...

I believe honesty is the best policy. People use reviews to help them choose books. If a review has not been accurate I know that when choosing fure books I would not trust that reviewer's opinion in the future.

It reflects badly on the reviewer to give glowing reviews when they are not deserved and vice versa.

It concerned me to read that some reviewers may slag off a book just because the person who had wrote it had upset them. This is totally unprofessional.