July 18, 2006
On Katha Pollitt's Grump: Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
Sad is the state of the publishing industry when an author of Katha Pollitt’s reputation has to buy her own books to manipulate the Amazon rating of her Virginity or Death! And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time. Even sadder is the reality that such authors continue to receive your paper’s attention, while countless small-publishing-world writers and their books are blatantly ignored. Sarah Dunant’s latest book received not one, but two reviews, and then she received more space to respond to her bad review. How about my Maddalena? It's as good or bad a book as the paper reviews.
I've now made it a habit to look for lousy reviews of books--or should I say fine reviews of lousy books--published because the author had a fine precedent, whatever that means. Quality? Dollar signs? His godmother is a celebrity? Sorry, if you find my tone sarcastic, but after seeing my book classified as "truly dreadful," that is without being read, my thoughts have become less and less veiled.
Here's Michiko Kakutani's review, in today's Arts section:
Here are the ingredients of Scott Smith's preposterous new screenplay, er, novel [The Ruins]: a plot patched together from Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King ...
And on the books characters: Their personalities, their beliefs, their decion making, their hubris or lack of it: none of this matters when the enemy is an implacable and inhuman foe like the Killer Vines, who not only try to ensnare all of Mr. Smith's characters, but also succeed in choking his novel to death.
Another lucky author who GOT REVIEWED in the Big Paper. Since I value Ms. Kakutani's taste, and even more her opinion, I think I will pass on this one.
Posted by Eva Siroka at July 18, 2006 01:40 PM