Want to tell people what you think of their reviews?
Liity LibraryThingin jäseneksi, niin voit kirjoittaa viestin.
Tämä viestiketju on "uinuva" —viimeisin viesti on vanhempi kuin 90 päivää. Ryhmä "virkoaa", kun lähetät vastauksen.
ETA: There are two groups devoted to discussing reviews, but with different approaches and aims (both admirable): Reviews reviewed and Review Discussions. Neither has had much activity recently. I think a lot of the comments below are referring to the second.
I can be patient. :)
And relentless. :)
Must have missed it at the time otherwise I'd would have added something then, it being on a favourite author of mine.
This is perhaps the other problem, threads have at most a day or so on a Talk page otehrwise they've dropped off - at least if you're a member of as many groups as I am, where I'm never going to check them all for activity and rely of hte 'your groups and posts' to display anything relevant.
I have mine set to show new posts on groups and starred topics.
I'd include an image, but haven't the foggiest idea of how to. :)
"The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1)… by Philip Pullman
This book was not very good.it was a very slow read.it was very boring. i id not like it that much.
i dropped this book because i got a new book that i wanted to read.it also helped that it was a very boring and slow book. i tried to read it once before but i dropped it then to.
this book was not very good and i would not reccomend it to anyone."
I'm not absolutely convinced that this is the same book that I've enjoyed a few times; it must be another book with the same title and the same author (rather as that short story by Jorge Luis Borges, Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote.
Seriously, though, you have to give this child credit for posting reviews after giving some really wordy titles a go. He (?) clearly has had help in editing and correcting earlier reviews before being given a free rein, and I'm glad that LibraryThing is being used as the vehicle it was meant for by a new generation of readers.
I love "gromic" - I think I'm going to make it my word of the day. Much more expressive than what you probably intended :-)
I see that particular review has already got two thumbs. My personal favourite LT review is still "So much more than a story about a man chasing a whale". A review you can safely apply to any book other than the one it's meant for...
This moves me a little closer to accepting that a less-than-a-sentence review can be a review ... along with the realization that my "bias" toward long reviews may well come from the fact that I started writing reviews as content for my blog (and having a 1,070-word post is better than a sentence fragment in that context!).
I've certainly given up taking pride in my reviews based on how many people thumb them.
Spoken from the point of view of someone who got, what, was it 28 'likes'?! At least, it shows that at least that number of LTers read (or perhaps skimmed) the review. Which is perhaps why we as reviewers write: to reach an audience.
I've been (with a hiatus at present) writing haikus on the main pages of some of he titles in my collection. Some are concise synopses, some pick up on just one aspect, some are downright critical, so I suppose the latter are examples of one sentence or, if lacking a verb, less-than-a-sentence reviews.
Tips for getting thumbs (by the author of 340 thumbless reviews):
- put an attention-grabber in the first sentence
- avoid the dead zone around 100-200 words: reviews that get noticed are mostly either very long or very short
- be absurdly controversial
- agree with everyone else
- parody the book or other reviewers
- find kind things to say about the book, even if it was terrible
- explain why it's OK to like it even though the author was a fascist/sexist/homophobe/Daily Telegraph columnist
- go on at some length about the author's use of imagery
- use the word "postmodern"
- choose a book that's not too popular at the moment (otherwise your review will disappear off the first page before anyone sees it)
- choose a book that's not too obscure (otherwise no-one will be interested in your review)
- choose a book that's only likely to be read by kind, generous people (Barbara Pym's novels, for instance)
- join a mutual-appreciation society
- have patience (old reviews still get thumbs)
- mention and link to your review in popular groups you participate in (like the 75 Book Challenge); the best review in the world won't get thumbs if it doesn't get read.
Doesn't that come under "mutual appreciation societies"? :-)
I should have added "avoid egregious errors of grammar or spelling in the opening and closing lines of the review"
Probably. I must admit I didn't notice that item the first time around.
There's some reviews I would like to go back and try again, since some additional reflection and others' subsequent reviews have put a different spin on those books for me (I'm thinking especially of A Passage to India and The Magicians), but I'm letting them stand as is. They happen to also be reviews that nobody thumbed, and I don't trust my own motivation.
A lot of us forget that book reviews are opinion pieces -- no different, really, from the op-ed items that coat one or two pages of most any newspaper. In days of old, op-ed writers felt it a matter of professional courtesy that none of them should criticize any of the others. Now comes the Internet, and "flame wars" that erupt on comment pages globally should serve as proof that the old-timers' "professional courtesy" made sense in at least one respect.
What makes Library Thing different from most sites is that a substantial number of the books that get reviewed here are works that were written by author-members who offer their books on LT and expect recipients will review their books in return. Hurt feelings at both ends of the equation are inevitable.
Looking at all the reviews posted on LT, it's sometimes hard to believe that the person who wrote the "review" ever read a book -- any book -- in his or her life. Pendragon (in No. 7, above) quotes one of the type I refer to.
We also feature a type of "review" that I call "crypticism". By that term I mean "reviews" that are so short they don't make any sense. "This book sucks" is common. "I didn't like it" is another. My favorite is one syllable: "meh". You all get what I refer to because everyone here has seen them. On different occasions, I've posted a few of my own: nobody is perfect. Sometimes we're just in a mood.
Still it ought to be considered that many who visit LT do so because they're looking for intelligent discussion of books and things bookish. A quick glance at LT's review columns could well drive some such people away, while the type who ordinarily post drivel (thinking they have found a home) will be attracted.
Summing up: Considering that the native English speaker (free to say as he/she pleases) can easily spout some 200 words per minute in conversation, it isn't unreasonable to impose a minimum length for all reviews posted on the site. Something in the range of three-or-four-hundred words seems about right to me. Others may think differently, but I ain't a-scairt o' them. . . .
At the same time I accept that not everyone here is trying to please me, lol. Some folks are just jotting down impressions for their own future referral, to share with friends, or to indulge in some fun attacks on books they despise. I've no objection to that, just as I'm sure they've no objection to me skipping over their reviews while I look for what I think are the "good ones."
I'll have to agree with >17 dekesolomon: up to a point, in that I don't see why the one-worders are even bothering, unless it's that they just don't like leaving blanks when they list a book. I wouldn't like to see an imposed minimum length, however. I don't think it would suprise anyone how easily someone with nothing to say could still fill up the space: "Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb ..." 100 times, for example. At least I can scroll past a one-word review with minimum hassle.
Sure. The only time I ever read a review is when I am trying to unravel a garbled catalog entry. I never read reviews for content because I don't care what people think about books. All this sharing with each other and looking for thumb pats is icky and gross.
The only time I read other people's posts for content is if they agree with my previously expressed opinions, because I don't care what people think about books. All this sharing ideas with each other--who came up with that idea?
Yet he tells me he doesn't believe in lit crit. Doesn't think it's helpful to anyone and nobody should read it because it's all a waste of time and a big ego trip.
I went at him with the fact that the edit of manuscripts is criticism of a sort, and told him he can't avoid criticism when teaching writing seminars. By that I mean he is constantly asked to (and does) assay the (de)merits of other people's prose.
I gave up when I came to the realization that (so far as he is concerned) everything that contradicts his beliefs is wrong and everything that supports his beliefs is right, despite any and all evidence to the contrary.
First I got angry thinking of all the people he burns for the petty fees he charges for edit and for teaching. Then I became fascinated by the idea that, all over the nation, hordes of illiterate dumbbells apparently sit and watch TV all day while they secretly aspire to the authorship of books. Then I dropped the whole matter when I realized that trying to figure it out would drive me crazy.
Was I wise or am I already too late?
Exempli gratia: 'Esdras Barnivelt was writing in the period when reviewing, publicity and the widespread discussion of literature in broadsheets, newspapers and magazines was just emerging. He wrote a pamphlet called A Key To The Lock, subtitled "a Treatise proving, beyond all Contradiction, the dangerous Tendency of a late Poem entitled The Rape of the Lock to Government and Religion", claiming that Pope's witty mock-heroic was actually a coded allegory about the Barrier Treaty. The joke is, of course, that Esdras Barnivelt was actually Alexander Pope himself.'
In regards to short reviews, it makes me wonder. I'd enjoy seeing a contest to see who could write the shortest review that provided information of value. I'll bet the creative ensemble here could surprise all of us.
Tim must like one-word reviews! There's also his famous one: "No" (http://www.librarything.com/work/365683/reviews/4805387)
I give thumbs up approximately as often as I see an outstanding review. I refuse to upvote mediocre reviews just to force the dreadful to the bottom. Fortunately there are people who will upvote anything vaguely coherent, so the end result is much the same as if I could downvote the dreadful.
I'd enjoy seeing a contest to see who could write the shortest review that provided information of value.
The leading contenders would have to be either this review from Tim or this one, which wouldn't convey information for most books but does on this one, I think.
* Is 'a (singular) thumbs-down' good grammar? It looks wrong to me, but I have to admit it doesn't sound wrong. So can 'thumbs-down' be both singular and plural?
It can if you got three or more thumbs.
Thumbs-down is a bit like goosedown, only less fluffy.