Monday, October 26, 2009

Yee-Haw! It's the Negative Review Round-Up!

Not only are negative reviews easier and more fun to write than positive reviews, they're easier and more fun to read, too. So pick up a torch and join me and the mob as we heap hate upon a few recent releases in this week's installment of The Negative Review Round-Up.
(Note: As most of us are lying, whorish, booksellers ready to sell our souls to make a softcover sale, I've also included small print links to some positive reviews. Feel free to crib liberally from these when dealing with the money-wielding masses.)

Park Slope's in a panic! Their chief news source has labeled their literary wunderkind's latest, Chronic City, tedious, maddening and aimless.
(Then again, The NYTimes loved it.)

The Guardian UK uses their patented British tact, hiding their displeasure with Philip Roth's The Humbling behind the vague phrase, "an embarrassing failure."
(Then again, The Huffington Post loved it.)

The NYTimes disses Piers Dudgeon's J. M. Barrie biography, Neverland, calling it a "crowded and frustrating book" that "blends scholarship, name-dropping and scandal-seeking heavy breathing." And that's just the pull-quote!
(Then again, Shelf Awareness loved it.)

Last but most meta, Jessica Mann, "an award-winning author who reviews crime fiction for the Literary Review," has announced that she is through writing reviews of crime fiction due its disproportionately large amount of violence aimed at women. She backs this stance up quite nicely with a couple of truly f**ked anecdotes.
(Then again, James Ellroy claims his crime fic is a 'critique of misogyny.')