Review of Reviewing Reviewed by Reviewer

Over at book/daddy (“Hosannah in the lowest“), Jerome Weeks reviews a book about book reviewing, Gail Pool’s Faint Praise. They both make some decent points about the blindness of “objective” reviews — and Weeks offers useful perspective on the financial realities of newspapers’ book sections.

But in the end, American editors and reviewers still supposedly seek objectivity — a kind of above-the-fray neutrality that can suck the life out of a review — when what we need, Ms. Pool writes, is “fairness”: disagreeing with a book but giving the author his due, acknowledging our own biases, not being blinded by them. 

For what it’s worth, this is perhaps the longest single blog entry I’ve ever read. Weeks comes off a bit like a print guy determined to prove that blogs can be substantive — but had he been writing this for print, his editor would have likely asked for some cuts.

 

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About the Author:

Keir Graff is the editor of Booklist Online and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix.

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