Reviews that…

10 Feb

Have you ever found yourself tearing apart someone’s review?

I was reading a review of a book I’d recently reviewed, and noticed that the person misspelled the main character;s name. Not only did the reviewer misspell the name, she included a snippet from the book with the correct spelling. This got me to thinking about my reviews.

When I review books, I try to keep the book beside me for two reasons. One, I include a snippet, so I need the book to copy word for word the passage I want to include. Two, I want to make sure that I’m not reinventing cities where things happen. I have a bad habit of renaming locations in books. For example if it happens in Locomotion, Kan., I’ll change it to Locanon, Kan. Stupid, I know, but that’s me.

How do you feel when you read several typos in a review? Do you ever feel like you’re reading a review by someone who didn’t read the book? What would make you boycott a reviewer? (Yeah, I know I have spelling issues myself. I try to reread my posts before I publish them, but that doesn’t always prevent the errors.) So I guess what I want to know is, how much slack to you give a book reviewer?

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10 Responses to “Reviews that…”

  1. Rosie February 10, 2008 at 10:15 pm #

    Most typos bug me…not that I’m perfect especially in comments. I check and re-check stuff I put up, particularly reviews and try to be careful, but I still miss stuff. Although I keep the book right with me when I do the review too. I’ve found in a single review I’ve called the same female character by 3 different names. Uh…I think I got them all corrected before I posted. Yeah, I’m pretty sure… 🙂

    Final thought here, in all seriousness, I’ve read reviews and wondered if the person read the same book I did. Most of the time I figure reading is such a personal experience that you can never really know for sure how someone is going to react to or review a book.

  2. Tia February 10, 2008 at 10:50 pm #

    I’m mildly picky about who I will link to. As you know, yours was one of the first sites I discovered. I look for reviewers who write actual reviews, where there is at least several thoughtful paragraphs and where the reader didn’t slam the book without saying why. On the same token, I won’t link to reviews that are to blandly positive. And of course, the reviewer must be able to write a coherent paragraph.

  3. T.C. February 10, 2008 at 11:38 pm #

    Typos are my pet peeve. But typos can be corrected – you have to make sure to get the accurate information. I always keep the book beside me when I review for that reason too. More often than not, I’ll be typing “A small-town girl from…” and I’ll forget the city. “It was in Mississippi, but what was it? It started with a B…” And if I didn’t really absorb a lot of it, I’m always scanning through it to try to remember or decipher what it was about. I have a major problem with that.

  4. scooper February 11, 2008 at 1:23 am #

    Rosie- It seems like most of us get irritated by the typos. I completely get the different reader, different response idea, but sometimes I feel like a reviewer didn’t even read the book. Facts are wrong.

    I feel like that with blurbs. I think that the person who writes the back of the book should have read the story. I’ve bought books that the blurb came no where near close to describing accurately and it always makes me wonder how they got through the printing process without a red flag being raised.

    Tia- I agree with you. Although I have linked to sites that I felt included typos as sarcasm. I read one book that was full of them, then I read a review that was full of them after mentioning the typos. I got a kick out of it, but I think others completely did not get it.

    T.C.- I’ve posted reviews after reading them only to find obvious typos. Then the review comes down and gets fixed. It’s when people don’t fix them that I get bothered.
    At least you know your flaws. You’ve compensated for them by keeping the book with you. Now if we can only get others to do so…
    (I’m crossing my fingers that there be no typos in this post.)

  5. Amie Stuart February 11, 2008 at 10:08 am #

    can I weigh in? *ducks* I actually do get asked to write blurbs for my books but I think it’s more common that editors write them.

    As for reviews, yes I notice typos etc. It’s the writer in me. I was reading some legal docs for a friend of my brother’s and went, “Look there’s a typo!” (in waht was supposed to be a legal document no less) so it’s not just reviews that I catch it in.

  6. Susan Helene Gottfried February 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm #

    Yep, I notice typos. Any literate person does.

    What turns me off? Bland, blanket praise that really doesn’t say anything and doesn’t identify the book. A lot of that beautiful prose could apply to any book.

    And the other thing is all good. It’s one thing to rave, and that’s fine. But no book is perfect and it’s perfectly okay to balance some bad with the good. (and an all negative review? No, thanks — unless it’s constructively done. I read one the other day that was fantastic.)

  7. T.C. February 11, 2008 at 4:56 pm #

    I always go back and edit posts after I find typos. It’s the typos I don’t find that bug me. 😀

    I try my best – sometimes I screw up, but half of the time, I understand what I’m reading and remember most (okay, some…) of the details.

  8. scooper February 11, 2008 at 10:14 pm #

    Amie- You can always talk here! 🙂 You are too funny. I look at police reports for work, and boy do I see a ton of, I was buy her, I went over their ect…

    Susan- I don’t care for it either. Be constructive in your book reviews people.

    T.C.- I completely agree. Those stupid typos are a pain.

  9. Kimberly Swan February 11, 2008 at 11:53 pm #

    I try very hard not to post with typos, but we’re all human. There are a few reviewers that I haven’t read their reviews after seeing how scary one or two of them were. On some of them I can’t even imagine where they got the info from. lol

  10. scooper February 12, 2008 at 8:53 am #

    Kimberly- Yep, I think I might have been to a few of those. lol

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