Well Fuck You, You Snooty Bastard!

The Scorn of the Literary Blog

The whole point of a review is to set one mind against another, and see what sparks fly. If the reviewer lacks an individual point of view, or struggles to repress it, there can be no intellectual friction, and therefore no interest or drama.

When I write about books in this blog, I do not consider them to be reviews. They are advocacy pieces to make you rush out and buy a book that I liked and that I think you should read because you’ll also like it. I won’t waste my time — and your’s — writing about books I hate (and there are many!). (Well, at least most of the time… and it shouldn’t be thought that just because I’ve mentioned a book, but haven’t written about it, that it’s a bad book. I just don’t have time for everything.)

Formal book reviewing puts me to sleep. I’ve tried and tried to read the reviews in The New York Times Book Review. They generally inspire one of two reactions in me: sleepiness or anger. Sleepiness because their verbosity is overwhelming without actually saying anything. Anger because the reviewer is the star, not the writer of the book.
Plus, I’m often left asking, Who is this eejit writing this bullshit?

Literary criticism is only worth having if it at least strives to be literary in its own right, with a scope, complexity, and authority that no blogger I know even wants to achieve. The only useful part of most book blogs, in fact, are the links to long-form essays and articles by professional writers, usually from print journals.

Oh what absolute bullshit. And maybe that’s why many people hate reading what you reviewers write. Because it’s also bullshit. It’s all Look At How Clever I The Reviewer Am and too little of How Clever This Author Is (Or Isn’t). I don’t give a fuck about you book reviewers. I couldn’t name a single one of you. And when I’ve seen reviews credited to real, published authors, I’m left wondering if the review is there because the editor is a friend of that person and knew the writer needed the money to make a rent payment or needed the money to help pay for the orthodondist of the writer’s kid. I can’t see real published authors turning around and joining the ranks (and they are rank!) of reviewers when a real writer’s time is so precious and should be devoted to real writing.

John Scalzi — from whom I have linkswiped this — offers his opinion too. And he does it, of course, in far cleaner and less hectic language than mine.

The whiner who wrote the original piece reminds me of the character in this: What Is This New Technology Called The Book?

Prior relevant posts in this blog:
Derek Raymond: He Makes All Others Look Like Shit
Mother’s Day Gift Recommendation
No More Blogging Today. Blame Author Ken Bruen!
Overclock Your Mind
Photo Album: America The Illiterate
Note To Self: Upcoming Book To Read
Heather The Hot: Recommended Reading
Get The Word, Nerd
Nerd Word
Ralph Nader Has A New Book
This Month’s Subhead
I Begin The Month With Sherlock Holmes
Search Is A Generic Function That Will Be All Machine-Generated
When “Free” = $$$
Charity Auction: Get Your Name In A Mystery Novel
This Month’s Subhead
Philip K. Dick Freaks Me Out Even While He’s Dead (And He’s Still Dead, Isn’t He?)
Book Drooooool!
Help Out Someone Being Crushed By MammothMedia!
Larry Beinhart
Congratulations to Warren Ellis
The Astounding Christopher Fowler
Christopher Fowler Slays Me
Christopher Fowler’s Bryant & May
Bill Bryson: Two-Fisted Gusto!
The Homo Fag Queer We All Owe
That Funny, That Nasty, That Charming Man
Wilmerding-Dong-Ding-Ding
Morrissey
M. Dylan Raskin – Part 2 (of 2)
How Everything Happens
M. Dylan Raskin – Part 1 (of 2)
I Miss Jack Tramiel
He Did Not End Raising Bees

Books category
Writers category

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