Thursday, December 29, 2011
Why I don't consider myself a book reviewer
I talk about books a lot here at Psycho-Noir, but I’m not a book reviewer, despite appearances. And this is not a book review blog. Honestly, I don’t know what this blog is. Aside from the roster of guest posts featured recently, the bulk of posts have been either self-promotional, rants vaguely related to writing or reading, and fan-boyish chatter about books I enjoyed.
But that’s the thing: it’s only ever books I enjoyed. Like most of you, I read a great deal, and if I like a book I’ll mention it here. But for every five books I read, two or three don’t do much for me. If I was an actual book reviewer, I’d include them here, dissect them, point out all their flaws. But I’m not interested in doing that.
No, if a book doesn’t work for me, I ignore it. I have no desire to tear down other people’s work in a public forum, especially if the writer in question is struggling to be read, to be noticed. That just seems cruel, like making fun of someone struggling to walk again after being in a wheelchair for years.
Yes, you might say, but what if the writer in question really does suck and would be well-served to know that and stop vomiting his crappy prose all over the publishing world? Good point, sure, but you know what? Not my job. I’m not judging actual critics and reviewers who do that, I’m just saying I have no interest in it (with a few exceptions; fuck you, James Patterson and Lee Child, you suck).
So in the coming year, I intend to stop referring to my book chatter as “reviews”. They’re “recommendations”, that’s what that are. And you’ll see lots of recommendations in the coming months.