Meta: Review Of A Book Review

Reviewing the Review: September 21 2008

I’ve heard good things about Home by Marilynne Robinson, but A. O. Scott’s lush rave review somehow puts me off. Too much of this:

“Home” is a book full of doubleness and paradox, at once serene and volcanic, ruthless and forgiving. It is an anguished pastoral, a tableau of decency and compassion that is also an angry and devastating indictment of moral cowardice and unrepentant, unacknowledged sin.

Wow. I haven’t even opened the book yet and I’m already bored.

Beautifully and wonderfully nailed.

Just as I wrote here:

Reviews? Do you know how many books I discovered via the New York Times Book Review? Probably less than ten. Because the so-called “reviews” were invariably more about the reviewer and how allegedly “smart” he (and it was always a he) was than the book under review. Face the fact that the NYTBR was — and still is — nothing a but a circle-jerk fanzine for your little clique. It had little to do with gaining new book readers.

And from the quote above, it’s still as I remember it.

The dinosaurs never change.

We just have to wait for their extinction.

Explore posts in the same categories: Books - Fiction, Books - Other, Writers - Living, Writing

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