I came across a review recently. The reviewer and the book are not directly important to this post; I merely wanted to highlight this simple statement within the review:
Then I thought: but what if I’m taking this the wrong way?
The reviewer then challenges himself to consider his responses up to this point, and ponder if it is right.
How amazing is that? In this world of quick response statements about books, how great that someone actually takes time out to consider why they’re feeling a certain way and if their opinion is correct – more importantly, that they might appreciate a book better if they tried to understand it in another way.
Today, I share this viewpoint. I will confess that, years ago when I wanted to be a writer, I would view books in a very black and white manner, and such tones were calibrated by how I thought a book should be written, be it in plot or style, rather than trying to understand the creative process more open-mindedly. I sometimes consider revisiting works I had previously dismissed; maybe I’ll get more out of them this time around.
The amount of times people trash a book on a forum or a blog, merely because it wasn’t what they wanted it to be (or the more heinous crime, how they would have written it themselves), is disconcerting at times, and it’s so warming to see such a consideration in a review.
Then again, this reviewer does go to town on another book. You can’t win ’em all.