Friday, April 15, 2011
Pardon My Rant
(Pitch Contest with Natalie Fischer is below - Go Enter!)
This has been one of those weeks, so please excuse me while I diverge from the usual path for a moment of literary ranting.
I love the internet. Truly I do. There’s an endless store of information and countless opportunities to be found. But lately I’m having issues with book reviews and rating systems at online sites such as amazon and goodreads.
Have you ever loved a book, only to see it bashed in reviews? I’m not talking about well-balanced blog reviews with fair treatment of the positives and negatives. I’m talking about anonymous reviewers who spout off about how it’s the worst writing ever and the main character is a complete Mary Sue, and anyone who likes the book is just tasteless. Unfounded reviews that don’t support their opinions, or they attempt to present their opinion as fact. Or the worst kind, where the reviewer tears down a book and gets information wrong!
I recently read one by a man who had a historical time-travel romance put in his hands as “light summer reading” by the used book store clerk. Let’s just say it was not his preferred genre, but he was under the impression it was a history novel. He proceeded to shred the author most unkindly about the romance scenes and unbelievability of the time travel, all elements paramount to the genre which I thought were well done (plus he got facts wrong, grr!).
Any Joe Schmoe can login and type. But I think we need to remember these books are the livelihood of their authors. People are affected by the things we say about their work, so I feel it’s our responsibility to be fair and thoughtful. I appreciate honest, balanced reviews. The beauty of literature is that there’s something out there for everybody. Just because something’s not your cup of tea does not mean those who enjoy it should be deemed sub-literary.
Let’s be mature about this, shall we? Don’t make me stick my tongue out at you.
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