Monday, July 20, 2009

More of the Same

It’s well known that authors really shouldn’t respond to reviews (or at least do so carefully), Joe Abercrombie has become the exception to this with his often snarky, narcissistic responses. He of course took the bait I hung out there with my review of Best Served Cold and showed me that I should be careful what I wish for.

Otherwise, I’m still slammed – last week was work-related travel, this week I’ve got both work-related and personal travel. I did get a bit of reading time in there, so whenever I can find the time to get my thought together and write, I’ll get up reviews of The Affinity Bridge by George Mann (liked it), Medicine Road by Charles de Lint (really liked it), and The Sheriff of Yrnameer by Michael Rubens (didn’t like it).

So, it’ll continue to be rather quite around here for at least another week and maybe until August.

Edit: Since I'm on the topic (somewhat) of Joe Abercrombie - this review of The First Law Trilogy is probably the strangest review I've ever read - the dude has some serious issues.

9 comments:

SQT said...

I suppose we should be able to take, as well as give, when it comes to being reviewers... That said, I've chosen not to review books when I've seen the authors go after the reviewer. Maybe it's cowardice on my part. But I don't particularly want to feel intimidated into giving a good review when I don't mean it. I'd rather not give the book any mention if the author is going around giving reviewers a hard time.

Ryan said...

Yeah, and maybe authors shouldn't even write a book in the field of a reviewer who might not give it a good review. Especially if the reviewer is going to go around giving authors a hard time, intimidating them into writing a book the reviewer would want to read. I look at it this way. If I see a movie reviewer with 4 stars it's probably a definite yawner. 1 or 2 and it probably is fun to read. Seems a lot of book reviewers are turning out the same way. What do I know though, I just read 'em.

SQT said...

Ryan-- I'm not sure I understand your comment, but I would defend Neth because it's just a bad idea in general for an author to badger a reviewer. Not because that reviewer will give them bad press-- though they might-- but it discourages coverage of their book. I doubt Joe will have this problem because he's an established author. But lesser known writers could do themselves harm.

I'm thinking, in particular, of an author who commented on another review that Neth put awhile back. He had a negative review-- one I agreed with because I had a really hard time with the book myself. The other defended the book ad nauseum on the thread and all I could think was do I feel like dealing with this? Because I guarantee that if I put up my review, I would have had the writer running rampant on my blog. I didn't bother because I wasn't going to write a review that said the book was good just to play nice. I noticed that the book didn't really get any coverage after that, and that's a shame because it probably would have found an audience.

Neth said...

Well, Abercrombie is an exception in all this - he literally breaks all the rules about responding to reviews, but gets away with it through the extreme hyperbole and snark.

But yes, it can get quite uncomfortable when authors respond badly (thankfully it's only happened the one time). I've also had very postive experiences and interesting discussion with authors who have responded to reviews, so it can go both ways.

SQT said...

Neth, it is a conundrum. I've had authors comment, and even email me about a review and it's been a very positive experience for me. I guess I draw the line between commenting on the review and going after the reviewer in a personal way. I would never make comments about an author that stray from the writing. But I have seen authors who claim a reviewer has a grudge, or aren't smart enough to understand the book etc, etc,. That's when I decide to opt out of a review.

Larry said...

The best way to "get at" Abercrombie, in my oh-so-humble opinion is to publicly let it be known that the last book was so bland that he hadn't even thought of the author until being rudely reminded by another reviewer ;)

Joe Abercrombie said...

Larry,
I'd forgotten all about you until I saw you comment on Ken's blog.

Ken,
You aren't smart enough to understand my books.

SQT,
Obviously you just have a grudge against me...

Larry said...

I'm easily forgettable...like the assassin or the rabid squirrel that stalks its prey...

Neth said...

Joe,

Perhaps someday physicists will proove the existence of the universe you believe you are the center of. Until then you are a clothing brand pretending to write (which presents it's own interesting observations on String Theory).

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