Thursday, August 10, 2006

Words fail me ...

I'm home today, about 300 pages into my 550-page review book (not 600pp, as I originally said), and it looks like a rainforest outside - lovely, don't know if I'm up for running out to the bank and PO today after all.

Normally when I read a novel for review, I keep a pen and sheet of paper nearby so that I can jot down little notes, impressions, phrases to use in the review. So far with this current review book, though, I haven't written down a single thing. This is both good and bad - good, because it means I've been too wrapped up in the novel to do so, but bad, because a 210-word review will be the end result of this process, like it or not, and I'm not doing myself any favors by failing to think about what I want to write.

For some reason (and maybe this indicates something deep and meaningful about my character, I don't know) I've nearly always found it easier to write critical reviews than glowing ones. When I think about it, it's probably because I'm nearly always able to pinpoint what I don't like about a novel, what doesn't work for me, but it's harder to focus on exactly what does work - especially if nearly everything in the novel does work.


  1. I have the same problem--it's easy to say what I don't like about a novel, since things that irritate me will be jumping out while I'm reading it. When I've really liked a novel, it's harder to say what I liked about it without falling into cliches that express my admiration but really don't say much about the book itself.

  2. This is Queen of Swords? Sounds pretty good if you're having trouble finding anything critical to say about it. {s} I just finished the first in that series a month or so ago.

  3. Yes, and it is pretty good - the one hard part is that I've only read book 1 so far, then had to skip directly to book 5.

    I suppose I'd better start taking more notes.

  4. Ah, you're in the same spot I would be, then. I just read the plot summary on Amazon and was rather surprised.

  5. Oh, thank goodness. I thought it was just me!