FishbowlNY FishbowlDC LostRemote InsideMobileApps InsideSocialGames TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

Too Mean? Some Find Book Reviewers Overprotective

Yesterday, I asked you how critical book reviewers should get, and at least one person on the mediabistro.com discussion board thinks that things among the literati have gotten a little too cozy. “GraceVictoria” says that she once wrote a negative review of an established author whose latest book was, she felt, “third-rate and shallow,” then met a woman who had just given the same book a positive review in the NY Times. Confronted on the critical disconnect, the Times contributor agreed the book wasn’t that hot, but reportedly said, “[This writer] deserves support in her career, and if you read my review carefully, you’ll see that I really don’t critique the book itself very much.” And it was so! Then “Metro Writer” admits to exactly that sort of softball throwing on a review assignment: “I wrote a kind review on a book I didn’t particularly like,” this commenter reveals, “because I knew his wife was dying of cancer while he was writing it. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn’t be doing my best writing, either.” (Fine, one might ask, but what are you doing here, a book review section or group therapy?)

There’s also a mini-debate over whether the reviewing community has been giving Bridge of Sighs a critical pass because everybody loves Richard Russo, to which Washington Post reviewer Ron Charles points out that he found plenty to complain about in the novel.

Mediabistro Course

Memoir Writing

Memoir WritingStarting January 7, work with a published memoir writer to tell and sell the story of your life! In this course, Wendy Dale will teach you how to create your story around a marketable premise, hone your narrative voice, write a memoir with a solid structure, and sell your memoir before you've even finished writing it. Register now!