1. This was funny–in a sad way. My mouth is agape at that last review. I can’t stop chuckling, wondering how someone can be so idiotic. But, I guess I just have to get in my car and drive down the road to realize the world is full of idiots. I hope they don’t all review books.

    • Hi Char – Thanks for siding with me…I was afraid I was being too whiny. But when I saw that Goodreads review, I knew I had to mouth-off a little bit. The vast majority of reviewers/readers/rates are great, but–wow–this kind of review just drives me nuts!

  2. I agree. I have seen some really personal, character-attacking reviews. They do not say anything about the actual story, but seem to be more focussed on the writer. I don’t accept these reviews as real, but they potentially do have the ability to cause some damage. However, I’ve also seen them backfire. So who knows. Personally, a reviewer attacking the character of a writer says more about the reviewer than it does about the writer and you have some bitter people out there. I would like it if some kind of standard could be followed when submitting reviews.

    My humble opinion with an added 2.5 cents.

    • Hi Woelf – thanks for dropping by. I agree, the character-assassination reviews are perhaps the worst, much more hurtful even than what I talk about in my post. I’ve been lucky so far that no one’s put me in their sights for that kind of abuse, but I’m steeling myself for it…it seems inevitable that it will happen some day! The internet is too big and too anonymous for some people to resist slinging mud. Thanks for your 2.5 cents!

  3. I agree, Matt. I only take on books that interest me. It’s not fair to the author if I take on a book that I know I won’t like. I don’t like sci-fi and vampire books, so I tend to stay away from them.

  4. So, I should never read a book in a genre that has not interested me before. Ever. Because if a book catches my interest and I decide to stretch my wings then I don’t happen to like it means I’m a sophmoric idiot who should stick to my favorite genres and not try to expand my horizons because my opinion is not wanted. I’m at fault. That would suck for the authors who convinced me to read horror, something I really had no interest in but have read some really good ones recently. I review the books I read whether they are in my favorite genres or something I’m trying for the 1st (or 5th) time. My followers depend on me to give honest reviews and that’s what I do my best to deliver.

    • Matthew Iden

      Voracious –

      It’s admirable to read widely, to diversify the genres you’re comfortable reviewing, to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. None of that is related to my complaint in this blog.

      If you go back and re-read the post, you’ll find my irritation is for folks who willfully transpose their dislike for a genre and attach it to a particular work.

      Don’t like wizards? Then don’t give Tolkien one star for including Gandalf. Don’t like violence? Then don’t dock Barry Eisler for writing about an assassin. Don’t like to be scared? Then why are you reading Stephen King or, more to the point, why would you disparage him for writing horror?

      Smell what I’m cooking, here? If Tolkien had written poorly, had made Gandalf a cut-out instead of a fully-fleshed, three-dimensional character, or had ended the LOTR trilogy on an incredibly weak note, THEN reviews are justified in slamming the work and the author.

      And there’s room in every review for “I just didn’t like it”—maybe that’s valid for a star or two. But if you can’t explain why you gave a poor review in concrete terms and not just your dislike for “scary stories” or “books with crime in them”–if you review BOOKS because of your biases about a GENRE–then you’re letting preference get in the way of criticism, and that’s doing your readers a disservice.

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