Saturday, August 01, 2009

Alex Good on Negative Reviews

Alex Good on negative reviews:

The spectre of criticism becoming nothing but advertising and propaganda raises another question. What is it about books that makes us think they should be held immune from negative reviews? Do people complain about negative film reviewing? Should every movie, even that one with all the robots, get a thumbs-up, or at least be rated four stars out of five? Expanding the list of cultural products, should car columnists be warned against writing negative car reviews? After all, we might have saved a lot of good manufacturing jobs in our auto industry if we had only raved about the latest offerings from GM.

To read the whole of Good's article, click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think he's beating up a straw man: (relatively) few critics seem genuinely opposed to all negative reviews, but many express worthy reservations about the temptations and problems with negative reviews; I recently took up the same issues in More words of advice for the writer of a negative review, which concerns Helen Gardner's quote: "Critics are wise to leave alone those works which they feel a crusading itch to attack and writers whose reputations they feel a call to deflate. Only too often it is not the writer who suffers ultimately but the critic…”

I differ, but chiefly in emphasis.