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Sunday, September 21, 2008

What's in a Review?

I found a rather interesting article on reviews today, and it struck me as a useful tool for any reviewer out there. Check out this link for details.

I'd like to know people's thoughts on this, personally. What criteria do you use to judge a work? Do you consider yourself a critic? What kind of reviews do you like?

I personally like funny reviews from time to time. Oh, sure, I want to know if it's good or not, but I also don't want to read a dry treatise on a novel/film/whatever. I'm a fan of the Popbitch/Pop Justice school of comment, and that means I like you to take the piss every now and again. If something's rubbish, say so. If something is so trashy you love it, say that too.

Then again, there's having fun and being cruel. Critics don't have to be objective, because any critic who pretends to be is lying, but that doesn't mean a critic should forget a creative work has been made by an individual. Vitriol just tarnishes the reviewer rather than the reviewed.

Anyway, thought on the matter are appreciated . . .

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1 comment:

  1. Personally, I prefer reviews that get right to the point: is the book good and should I buy it? I want to know what's good and what's not. The point of a review, in my opinion, is to tell the reader whether a book is worth $7.99 or $13.99 or $24.95 or however much a book is.
    That said, I like reading the occasional "critical" review (like what Larry of at OF Blog of the Fallen) does, but that generally doesn't influence my decision on a book. I like those for the literary depth, because it helps me in my academic work (since I'm a literature student). I can develop better reading skills for writing papers, etc. that way.
    The reviews I write are the kind of reviews I like to read, though. Straight to the point. But I have no problem with both forms existing together and it's sort of irritating that people get in a tiffy over the fact that some people do simple reviews and other people do critical reviews. Who cares? They both serve a vital purpose and you can't expect every person who wants to read a review to like one single form. There are people like me who don't want to spend hours on the net reading an article just to find out if a book is worth their money. And then there are some who just don't have the mental patience for simplistic reviews, because they feel that they don't get a good taste of the book.

    So yeah, that's what I have to say.