Saturday, November 30, 2013

NEW YORK TIMES op-ed contributor (an author) applauds banning negative book reviews.

Here's a radio host from NYC named Bob Garfield who has a debut genre novel titled BEDFELLOWS, applauding the pop culture site BuzzFeed's decision to eliminate negative reviews of books altogether:

Yes, Mr. Garfield is rather flip and shallow with the use of space the NEW YORK TIMES allowed for his op-ed. 

But I don't advocate the entire elimination of negative book reviewing.  Instead, the reviewer (even if told to be "entertaining" by his print/online editors--and consigned to writing in no more than bite-sized form) should minimize-to-avoid-altogether personal feelings about the author and concentrate on how successful the book is on its own terms.  And, also, the reviewer should try to avoid fitting all the books he/she reviews into a Procrustean-bed template of what must pass his/her tests of Lasting Literary Quality.

Even negative reviews may interest potential buyers in a book, regardless of the reviewer's opinion.

And limiting printed reviews to just-raves is another chilling chapter in a huge, ongoing cultural-commando volume titled WE DETERMINE WHAT IS TO SURVIVE: GET OUT OF THE LIFEBOAT!

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