Monday, February 15, 2010

Book reviewing

For better or worse, I do a fair amount of book reviewing, of both good and bad books. (Sorry, the bad books don't usually come out very well - I'm not one for finding the 'good' in everything.)

So I was interested to read this quote on Bill Kinnon's blog today:

Over the years, I have come to find writing book reviews even more distasteful than reading them. Part of this is my own fault, for being one of those old-fashioned holdouts who still believes that you should actually read the book before reviewing it.

Sometimes I am only into the first 20 pages of a 500-page book when it becomes painfully clear that this one is a real dog. The rest of the ordeal is like crossing the Sahara Desert—except that often there are no oases. True, the reviewer gets to slaughter the author in print at the end of it all, but this merely appeases the desire for revenge, which only real blood would satisfy.

It's not written by Bill, and unfortunately he doesn't supply the author's name as far as I can see, but it certainly speaks to the heart of most reviewers!

Later in the day - my fellow blogger over at Per Crucem ad Lucem has kindly supplied the source for this quotation: Thomas Sowell, Some Thoughts about Writing (Stanford: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, 2001), 21.

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