Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Bad News is Good News
Todd Newton posted an interesting piece about why he encourages everyone to review his book the Ninth Avatar, whether they liked it or not. Check it out here: http://initialdraft.blogspot.com/2010/09/importance-of-reviews.html
I find this interesting because it conflicts with my opinion. I was of the feeling that I shouldn't bother to write a review for a book I disliked because it was of a negative aspect and I wanted to focus on the positive. Problem is that there is some disingenuity to that. And I want to be honest. Obviously everything I write is my opinion though. So if I dislike a book, it does not mean that another will find it the same way. In fact I will point out a particularly well watched and reviewed movie: Batman Begins. I could not get into this movie. I have my reasons why I didn't conform with the masses, but I loved the Dark Knight. Absolutely.
A lot of it has to do with our expectations and prior experiences. I've heard of a lot of anger from X-Men comic fans regarding the X-Men movies, but I liked each one. Why? I had little expectation going in. I read some X-Men story lines when I was a kid, but I never collected them. (Simple fact for any person offended by that is I didn't like coming in late to such a large series—I felt lost as to how to approach it.)
The reverse is probably true if you have the background necessary to enjoy a certain piece, whereas a layperson does not.
So I am considering reviewing about books I did not like. Not to dismiss the author, or garner visits from those interested in controversy, but because I like to discuss books. How they work, and...how they don't.
So how do you approach reviews? What is your opinion on the matter?