I contend that if one hundred people read a positive review, fifty of those people will be interested in looking at the book. I also contend that if one hundred people read a negative review, fifty of those people will be interested in looking at the book. Just be certain that the name is spelled correctly.
That said, I am mean enough to more enjoy a well-written and knife-stabbing (whether in the back or not) review, because it seems that invective brings out the creative juices. Here is a compilation of the most vicious reviews written in 2012. It is a guilty pleasure - if one is so inclined. I'm guessing 50% of you will go and look at a book.
I look upon this as fun - if not exactly "good" fun. One of the earliest reviews of my novel, A LOST TALE, began: "Lost - but not lost enough." My first thought? I wish I had written that.
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By Jason Boog
The Omnivore has revealed the Hatchet Job of the Year Award shortlist for the year, searching for the “angriest, funniest, most trenchant book review of the past twelve months.”
We’ve included links to the complete shortlist below–what was your favorite book review of the year? Here’s an excerpt from the Hatchet Job of the Year manifesto:
Book reviewing is facing unprecedented challenges. Critics fear for their livelihoods. The cultural deficit from years of reckless use of clichés and superlatives will take generations to pay off. The emergence of a new global superpower, with its sock-puppet dictatorship and one-Kindle policy, means we can no longer afford to be complacent. It is time for literary journalism – the backbone of our once-proud book industry – to regain its competitive edge. This is why difficult decisions have to be made. Authorial egos must be cut down to size. Editors need to be called to account. But this is not just about wielding the axe. Our guiding philosophy is compassionate criticism.
Shortlist for the Hatchet Job of the Year