Jan. 15th, 2012

hawkwing_lb: (Aveline is not amused)
Rules for reviewing, Opposite World edition:

1. Reviews must be "objective."

2. Never use passionate rhetoric.

3. Never mention the author's treatment of female characters.

4. Never mention the author's ability, or lack thereof, to construct a sentence.

5. Probably best to just quote the flap copy and say "Eeee."

6. All negative reviews are personal attacks upon the author and everyone who likes their work.

I'm venting, at least a little. The comments on the review over at SH are pretty much the first time I've had shit-talking directed at me personally over the internet (what can I say, I've been relatively sheltered) and it's been an interesting learning experience. (One of the commenters scored a sexist/abusive bingo right out of handbook.) (Also, wow, anti-intellectualism.) (But most of them are, I suspect, just feeling judged by the fact that someone else thinks that a thing which they like is crap. As someone who still holds a tendre for a couple of books by Terry Goodkind and an avid reader of some really really problematic (and sometimes downright bad) books, I can sympathise.)

Thing is, for me? I get as much or more out of a negative review (by someone else) than I do out of a positive one. Article-sized negative reviews frequently go into more depth, so I can see exactly what I may or may not like about the work - and they're frequently more entertaining.

I mean, mostly I'm reading article-sized reviews of films. These days I get my book recommendations in the form of a blog paragraph or line from people whose tastes I know often align with mine (I think the last book I bought as a result of an actual review was Suzanne McLeod's urban fantasy, which I found rather meh, in the final estimation. Or take the case of The Steel Remains, which I ended up loving but which was getting such good press from reviewers whose tastes don't align with mine I thought I'd hate it to pieces, and only read it out of guilt at ignoring a gift sitting months on my shelf), or in the form of direct recommendations after asking people. But the point is, I think, comparable.

Anyway. Venting done.


hawkwing_lb: (Default)

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