#24(m) Are South African critics too soft? (Isabella Morris)

Desember 3, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

Who are the reviewers? Academics, journalists, housewives, readers, writers? Important to know, because these perspectives shape and colour the review. It isn’t a question of whether reviewers are too soft or even too harsh. It’s more a case of some reviewers not understanding their role, which is to inform readers / would-be readers about the book. Publications should avoid using reviewers whose ego gets in the way of their job of reviewing. As a reader I basically want a brief idea of what the book is about and then I would like to know what particular skill the writer has – characterisation, mood, expertise, etc. I want to read a review of the book as a stand-alone – not in reference to the writer’s other books. Sometimes I find that some reviewers rely too much on the writer’s previous publishing credits and therefore “promise” a good read. And finally I want the critic to be honest. Not scathing or gushing, just honest. I want to believe that the critic has read the book cover to cover, not just a synopsis and the first chapter or two.

As a writer reading reviews, I want to know what zing the book has that a thousand other books on the same topic/theme don’t! If I don’t get that information in the review, chances are I will not buy the book. I am more likely to buy a book that has been recommended to me by word of mouth, where I can engage with the reader who has read the book, than I am to buy a book based solely on a review.

To comment, sign up here!

Click here to read more.

Laat 'n Antwoord

Jou e-posadres sal nie gepubliseer word nie. Vereiste velde word aangedui as *.