Books, Lit Fests, News, Movies, Art, Fashion and TV of course... "I must say that I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a book." - GROUCHO MARX

My Photo

I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


"Indeed at times we were surprised by the reverential tone adopted by reviewers in relation to books which, to us, did not come off at all, and which we could not conceivably recommend to a broader readership."
Sir Howard Davies, Director of the London School of Economics, at the Man Booker Awards Ceremony.

That's the beginning, as this brilliant piece in The Times shows.

Sir Howard slams reviewers for adopting a reverential tone for books that barely deserve a review, for failing to take attention of new names and calls for greater "diversity in the sort of people who review novels."

I couldn't agree more. Of late, I've found my reading choices driven by like-minded bloggers as opposed to established critics who fill up reams and reams of pages with lots of stuff that's nicked off the back of the book. Then there are the reviewers who fail to strike the key balance. It's either excellent all the way or the pits all along. What annoys me even more is reviewers propensity to tell you, 'if you like this, you'll also like this....' If only it were that simple.

Sir Howard is spot on in his assessment of whether or not a reviewer likes a book:
"The only way you can detect that the reviewer doesn’t like the book is when they spend the whole time simply describing the plot. They’re not brave enough to say, ‘It doesn’t work’. [They] are tolerant of untidy novels. They don’t care whether they’re readable or not."

Now, if someone would speak up about those blurb writers next.

Labels: , ,