Saturday, 14 April 2012

Reviews - A Balanced View

Today I posted a review on the HNR Blog by a historical fiction author [no surprises there then] whose work I haven't come across before.

I engaged with the author's main character straight away, and found it to be one of those books where I wanted the day to end so I could go to bed and read some more. The historical part of the story was a little slow, but the author made it clear she was staying true to the facts of the time. This said, everything that happened in the early eighteenth century was slow, from transport to correspondence and political events, so I could hardly criticise her for that.

Her characters, descriptions and the way she portrayed the romantic inner feelings of the love interests was mastery, so I posted my review on Amazon, and was not surprised to see how many others were there. [Over 300 on Amazon.com] What did surprise me were the bad ones. These constituted only about 10%, but those readers didn't like any aspect of this book; not the style, the characters or the storyline. Comments varied from, 'boring' to 'I gave up halfway through', and one felt compelled to add, 'I wish there was a zero star option'.

These bad reviews didn't detract from my own enjoyment, in fact they reaffirmed my belief that we all get different things from books. What some readers love and will re-read until they know passages by heart, [and 65% of readers loved this book] others dismiss and seem incapable of saying anything positive at all.

So those bad reviews authors take to heart and which we allow to obliterate all the goods ones, really don't mean much, because we cannot please everyone with our particular brand of writing, and shouldn't expect to.

2 comments:

Charmaine Clancy said...

Agreed. Not all bad reviews are bad news. Sometimes if a book receives a bad enough review it can make it more intriguing.
Wagging Tales

Eugenia O'Neal said...

Sometimes I wonder if the reviewers (negative or positive) read the same book I did but eveyone takes away different things.

I nominated you for a Blogging Writers Award here - http://eugeniaoneal.blogspot.com/

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