Meta: Review Of A Book Review
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.