Wednesday, November 18, 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 your 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.)

Cable #20 by Duane Swierczynski
Review by Tucker Stone:
"The best part of the comic is that the story's title is Checkmate, which means that Swierczynski thinks chess analogies can be approximated by having two steroid fantasy men beat the shit out of each other with space weapons, endlessly."
To read the whole review, click here.
(Then again, Duane Swierczynski loved it!)

And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer
Review by Paul Constant:
"Let's make one thing perfectly clear: And Another Thing..., Eoin Colfer's authorized sequel to the late Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, is a horrible, pointless book. The first, and perhaps most egregious, crime Colfer commits is simply not being funny. His book is unimaginative and sloppily devoted to Adams's previous work. [...] Colfer doesn't even try to mimic Adams's sublime Wodehouse-writes-Monty Python-in-space mashup style. Instead, he vomits up some halfhearted fan fiction and expects to coast on his predecessor's reputation."
To read the whole review, click here.
(Then again, Geek-speak loved it!)

What The Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell
Review by Steven Pinker:
"An eclectic essayist is necessarily a dilettante, which is not in itself a bad thing. But Gladwell frequently holds forth about statistics and psychology, and his lack of technical grounding in these subjects can be jarring. He provides misleading definitions of 'homology,' 'sagittal plane' and 'power law' and quotes an expert speaking about an 'igon value' (that’s eigenvalue, a basic concept in linear algebra). In the spirit of Gladwell, who likes to give portentous names to his aper├žus, I will call this the Igon Value Problem: when a writer’s education on a topic consists in interviewing an expert, he is apt to offer generalizations that are banal, obtuse or flat wrong."
To read the whole review, click here.
(Then again, The Telegraph UK "is entertained by" it!)