Saturday, January 14, 2006

You say potato...

There has been a fascinating and amusing discussion? argument? war? going on in the romance blog community. It began over at Romancing the Blog with a column about reviews. It sparked a lot of discussion over who has the right to review as well as what they have the right to say. It moved over to this blog, where things seem to get a bit heated. I first read about it at the Smart Bitches. At all sites, the thread was enlivened by the presence of MaryJanice Davidson, who appeared to be taking a break from her very busy writing schedule in order to either piss people off or amuse them mightily all day long. Count me in the amused camp, but I think that the reactions to her comments illustrate an important point. Readers read things differently. There is never just one interpretation, no matter how sure you are that yours is the right one.

I love reading reviews. I usually read them after I’ve read a book , to see if people picked up on the same things I liked or disliked. And you know what, often they haven’t. Since I am always right, I am often dismayed to see how seriously some of these reviewers have misread the book. But that’s my just opinion (though seriously, sometimes it’s like we haven’t even read the same book). And it’s also my opinion that most readers are intelligent enough to tell the difference between a decent review and a piece of crap. A piece of crap, for example, is that review which, with no reference to the text, tells you that [this title] is wonderful or awful because it is just like/not at all like [this title or author]. Sorry, stupid and not helpful. Or, even worse, just I wuvved, wuvved, wuvved it so much. Think why, people, why. Make just a tiny reference or two to the actual book, please? Poorly written reviews and the few well written ones (on Amazon) do provide hours of reading entertainment though. Readers and Authors should take most of them with a grain of salt.