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29 July 2008 @ 11:03 pm
Dork Moment #332 - More Book Ramblings  
Curiosity question: Do you ever write to authors?

--

Sometimes when an author emails me directly I get all excited and think "Wow! A Real Live Author wants to talk to me! Amazing!"

...and then sometimes I just think that, gee, they're regular people and I'm crazy for reacting the other way.

I was trying to write a review at Rinconada tonight for Stealing Athena. I am very unsatisfied with it so I think I might redo it tomorrow. Sometimes, though, I think the only good reviews I write are the nasty ones. If I really disliked a book they're certainly the most therapeutic. But at the same time, I know authors put a lot of work into their books and ripping into the book can be a real personal form of insult.
If you dislike something, and you're expected to give your opinion, is it better to say it's horrible or say nothing at all?
 
 
 
VLelfbiter on July 30th, 2008 07:42 am (UTC)
Curiosity question: Do you ever write to authors?

Yes, and Peter O'Donnell, Terry Pratchett and Lois McMaster Bujold even answered.

If you dislike something, and you're expected to give your opinion, is it better to say it's horrible or say nothing at all?

I think it's all right to dislike a book and say it as long as you say why. (On the other hand, I'm not sure of the quality of this and this...)
Suzik00kaburra on July 30th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
Ha ha, I liked Middlesex! But I didn't give a hoot about Cal. I just liked the parents and grandparents.

See, I like reviews in your style though. It's very clear what you didn't like, so I can easily think, "Well, I don't need a clear narrative anyway, Cryptonomicon's gonna be great for me!" or "Characters just think about how weird the others are? Great, high school all over again. Pass!"
Markying_ko_4 on July 30th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
To answer your question, one of my favorite correspondents is an author. He is so much more than his work, and enjoyable to boot. I also maintain a web site for another author. Both men share in common great affability and are enjoyable in their own rights. I am proud to number them amongst my friends.

And reviews need to be honest. If the book wasn't your cuppa, then say so. Explain why you didn't like it. Not everyone will agree with you, so don't worry about that. As long as you don't attack the author for being an idiot, then it's not a personal insult to write a negative review.

I've written a few reviews, some that have even been published and I just try to be honest. That's the best review policy I can think of.
deathjoy: Clive Barkerdeathjoy on July 30th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
I really like your reviews.

I think tone of reviews depends on context. In your own journal, be as mean as you want. For a professional publication, you might want to tone it down a little. Tell the truth, but use nicer words.
kyle cassidykylecassidy on August 14th, 2008 01:21 pm (UTC)
I reviewed Kate Jackson's Mean and Lowly Things and was surprised (and delighted) not only to get a nice email from Kate, but from her publicist as well.

http://kylecassidy.livejournal.com/418376.html