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12 February 2014


I love negative reviews, as long as they don't go after the author personally (i.e., "Author X wouldn't know a dependent clause if it was clinging to her nostril" is perfectly fair, but "Also, Author X is fat" is a no-go).

And true confessions: I love to write about a book that really thrills me to my toes, but there's nothing so cathartic as a satisfying evisceration of a book I hate. The only ones I really struggle with writing are reviews of "meh, whatever" books.

Addendum: of course, sometimes you HAFTA get personal; and here is a great, almost literal, evisceration: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/mar/06/darkness-dick-cheney/

I love a good negative review too, and luckily have never really read one where the attack on the author was personal (unless you count Dale Peck's "Rick Moody is the worst writer of his generation," which yes, I'm sure could be taken personally).

And thank you for the Dick Cheney article. I'm going to have to find some strength before I tackle it, though. I don't know if I even want to think about Dick Cheney for as long as it will take me to read that. Not because of his politics but more because he has always seemed to me to be just such a mean old man.

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