lunabee34: (reading by tabaqui)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Faint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in AmericaFaint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America by Gail Pool

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This was very informative about the book reviewing industry; it was also meticulously researched. I really appreciated the quotes from book reviews of yore and the look at the history of book reviewing. I think Pool offers some very good advice for people who are looking to get into book reviewing. She is also fair in her critique of the industry, admitting that she is guilty of many of the sins she highlights.

Unfortunately, the book is not a rolicking read. It's informative and the topic is interesting, but Pool's writing is pretty dry. The parts where she quotes from what other people have said about the practice of reviewing (usually pretty negative and cutting commentary) and the parts where she quotes actual reviews and the parts where she tells stories about things that happened to her or the one time this guy sued the paper because the review of his book was full of factual errors--those parts were engaging. The rest of it not so much.

Also unfortunately, the book is dated. It's ten years old and barely touches on the way the internet has changed book reviewing. Goodreads isn't even mentioned. I would be very interested to see what Pool has to say about the way the industry has changed in the last decade as well as what she thinks about the current status of self-published books.



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