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Should You Skip Book Reviews About Your Favorite Authors?

If you love an author, should you skip reading book reviews about their books?

Critically acclaimed novelist Barbara Kingsolver (pictured) reviewed Karen Joy Fowler‘s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves this week at the New York Times’ Sunday Book Review. In her essay about the book, she opened with a thoughtful paragraph about literary spoilers:

To experience this novel exactly as the author intended, a reader should avoid the flap copy and everything else written about it. Including this review. The last writers to be unscathed by spoilers were probably the Victorians, who pounded out the likes of “Great Expectations” in weekly, serialized installments. No reviewer could blow the surprise of a convict benefactor or Miss Havisham’s cobwebby cake when these were yet unwritten.

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