Deet’s opinion revisited- Pro Reviewers VS Amateurs


(I haven’t heard much muttering from the professional reviewers since this was posted back in 2011, but then again, I stopped listening quite awhile ago.  Still it is a topic that rears itself every now and then.  I’m still on the side of the Amateurs.)

professionals-and-amateurs

At PEN World Voices Festival on April 27,2011 (the event was cosponsored by the National Book Critics Circle). On hand were American critics Morris Dickstein and Cynthia Ozick among others.

Morris Dickstein, Professional Critic and Professor of English, “The professional reviewer, who has a literary identity, who had to meet some editor’s exacting standard, has effectively been replaced by the Amazon reviewer, the paying customer, at times ingenious, assiduous, and highly motivated, more often banal, obtuse, and blankly opinionated,”

Ozick, a novelist and essayist , made what she called the “disheartening” case that the most committed American readers are the Amazon customer reviewers. “Not only are they willing to buy books consistently, not as a now-and-then event; they also are intent on evaluating them in a public way, and they devote time and effort to fashioning a response. In short, they are serious about the meaning and effect of books, exactly what we would call a literary point of view.”

Read the full article here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-05-12/the-future-of-book-reviews-critics-versus-amazon-reviewers/#

*************************************************

So what does this mean to an amateur reviewer like me.  Well….I guess it means that I irritate the professionals a tad.  It probably means that they think I have no business calling my opinions “reviews”.  Somehow I just can’t get worked up about it.

Am I “banal and obtuse”? Perhaps.   I’d rather think I was ingenious and assiduous and at least moderately motivated. 🙂   Do I still think my opinion is worth the read? Hell yes!

I am an avid reader so I figure my contribution is to let those readers, who share my proclivities, know what I think of a particular read.  Maybe in my naiveté I missed the allegory or even the well hidden theme of the book, but I’m betting that most genre readers are not going to fault me for those oversights.  They just want to know if I resent the money I paid or if I felt it was worth skipping the Starbucks coffee to buy this book.  They want to know if they should schedule this read for a Friday night so they can sleep-in on Saturday morning.  They want to know if the book is uplifting or depressing, violent or sweet, sexy or not.

Yes, my reviews are “opinions” as are all reviews whether by amateurs or pros.  I don’t think for a minute that amateur reviewers will infringe on professional literary critics.  Usually we are talking about different things.  Anyone who reads Amazon reviews for deep insight might just be missing the point of those reviews.

The Pros are going to have to make room for us amateurs.  Times they are a changing and all those ensconced in the “good ole days” are going to feel displaced.  This is how it has always been.  Ya think Henry Ford didn’t get flack from the horse breeders?

What do you think?

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Books, Deet's Life, Opinion

2 responses to “Deet’s opinion revisited- Pro Reviewers VS Amateurs

  1. conniefischer

    First of all, I don’t think I can truly give a thumbs up or thumbs down opinion in a review because the book may not have appealed to me but I find there are always redeeming things about the book and I express that in my review. It’s unfair to write a review that totally ditzes a book. Amazon readers and their reviews are probably the most honest. What makes someone a “professional” reviewer anyway? Using fancy words? Trying to psychoanalyze what the author was trying to say? How boring! I read a book for entertainment or to learn something more about particular subject. Methinks some “professional” reviewers are simply trying to give themselves airs. If they’re getting paid for what they do, I guess they’re trying to snooker someone into thinking they are really brainy and should be paid even more. Bottom line: I’ll take an Amazon reviewer’s opinion any day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for weighing in on this topic, Connie. I don’t have a problem giving a thumbs-down to a book if it is truly deserving and I don’t think it’s unfair either. Sometimes there is just bad writing, no getting around it. I agree that I like the Amazon reviewers for there opinions and rely on them often.
      Come back often and comment.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s