The Art of the Review: Analysis, Criticism and Praise

A thoughtful post on the art of reviewing by Bethany W Pope.

Bethany W Pope


Recently, I had the misfortune of writing a negative review for a book which, I’m sorry to say, deserved it. The author of the book felt that I was attacking her personally, and said so on a public forum. Later, her publisher joined in, posting the following status on Facebook:

“Have had a problem of a publication I published being reviewed a couple of times by people whose reading skills are not up to the job – have any other publishers on here had that problem and what do you do?”

Since then, other writers and reviewers have offered to step in and provide a ‘more balanced’, ‘more positive’ take on the book. This is a problematic approach to reviewing, for reasons that should be obvious, but which I shall state anyway: reviews are meant to reflect what the reviewer sees; reviews, if they are to be useful, cannot only…

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