Thursday, April 30, 2009 By: Suzanne

Reading Professional Book Reviews

Can someone please tell me who and where writes actual reviews in the professional world? I have been trying to read some lately but they sound like advertisements for the book: a long detailed description of the book followed by some witty remarks but never once a "this is good" or "this is bad." Are these people being paid by the publishers to advertise or by the papers to let us know what they like or don't like. It's realy frustrating! No wonder there are so many amateur bloggers who wonder if it's ok to write a "bad" review. What we see in the professional world has no bite. I want opinion. I want to know what you really think. I don't want you to sell me the book.

Now just after I wrote the above, I finally came across a good review by Michiko Kakutani at the New York Times. Here's my favorite part (speaking of the "scary" element in The Ruins, which I just review): The problem is these Wicked Plants — who can speak German as well as English, and who can mimic cellphone ring tones as well as human voices — are so ludicrous that they undercut all of the suspense Mr. Smith has managed to create in the well-turned opening sections of the novel. For that matter, they turn what might have been a gripping summer beach read into a silly, bloody farce.

It's refreshing after reading all these terrible reviews to see someone who can think for himself.


Jenners said...

I actually don't read professional books reviews ... just blogger book reviews. There has been an interesting discussion about book reviews over here if you are interested in the topic. Lots of good discussion.

Book Reviewing