Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Who out there reads book reviews beforehand particularly when you are eagerly awaiting an author's new book?

I just got my hands on the new book by Dennis Lehane titled Moonlight Mile. Wow, lucky me, I thought. I loved his earlier books, especially Mystic River and Shutter Island. And he is not an author who comes out with a new book every other month. I was especially curious to see what he would do next since Shutter Island seemed such a diversion from his normal style. I thought, hey I should write in the blog about what people think when an author goes off in a completely different direction, like he did with Shutter Island (I normally hate it, but Shutter Island was so good that I forgave him for it).

In order to write about Lehane I read a few reviews and comments about the new book. What a mistake. The comments really made it seem like a dud. Perhaps I should thank the reviewers for the forewarning. Now I really don't feel like reading it anymore. I know enough to know that those comments are definitely other people's opinions. And I have loved many books that others have panned. But I now have a bad taste in my mouth. I went from having eager expectations to dread. I will probably return the book and read something else for a few weeks and maybe I will try again later.

Do you read reviews and comments beforehand? I use them when I am looking for a new book or author, but I never do when I feel I already know about the author. Now I need to go find a good new book.


Fiona Dinwiddie said...

I don't read reviews if it's one of my favorite authors because I know I'm going to read the book anyway. Case in point, Tom Wolfe's I Am Charlotte Simmons was roundly criticized but I read it anyway. In fact, Charlotte Simmons wasn't one of Wolfe's best, but bad Wolfe is still better than the best of many others. On the other hand, if I'm looking for new authors, I definitely read reviews because I feel better with the recommendation. I don't want to go into unchartered waters without a map!

Linda K. said...

I usually read reviews once I'm into a book and not liking it. I check the reviews to see if others agree with me and then I feel better about not finishing the book.

P.S. I've never really been a fan of Dennis Lehane and thought his earlier books were overrated.

Karen said...

I go through this with music. The local newspaper critics tend to tear apart U2, for example, and I generally find that I love the albums anyway. Things are even worse when I read bloggers or online wall posts, when someone will rip into an album I really love - all I can do is remind myself that "mileage may vary." :)

derfman said...

this spot on SNL sketch sums up my views on book previews of the popular authors


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