Sunday, December 10, 2006

Now What?

So, what does a reviewer (who hasn't posted any reviews yet, so how can he really call himself one) do when they have a piece that is borderline. It is no precious gem. It has too many problems. The writing swings from good to ok. The plot, from what I have read so far, is pretty typical but there are some interesting characters and I could see that with a lot of polishing, it could be a semi-precious gem. Maybe a nice amethyst or citrine. A fun one time read.

Since, for now, I was planning on only writing up good reviews for submitted items, I'm going to have to pass on it. I will write up poor reviews for something I've purchased or been given as a gift but something requested by the author, I'll let those lie in the "reviewers slush pile."

1 comment:

Devon Kappa said...

Ah, the eternal question for POD reviewers: should I reinforce the (frequently accurate) steretype that POD books are . . . unskilled . . . by posting negative reviews, or should I try to elevate perception of the medium by focusing solely on works I actually like?

There's plainly not a "right" answer to this question, and your system is certainly reasonable (defined as being something I seriously considered for my own site). Although I may yet change my mind, for now I have decided on a "does it deserve to be taken seriously" approach. That is, I am not limiting myself to positive reviews per se (although I have to date). Rather, I will review a book, even if I can't really recommend it, if I feel that the writing is at a level that (in my opinion) it deserves to be taken seriously as a work of art. The question of whether I ultimately agree with all of the author's choices, or enjoy his or her style, will impact the substance of the review, but not the decision whether to review the book in the first place. To use a very non-POD example, I personally can't stand James Joyce's writing, but even I, begrudingly, will acknowledge that he had, maybe, a little bit of talent.