Come inside my world where all I do is read and read lots and lots of romance..............................
Saturday, 31 March 2007
The Dead Horse Who is Actually Alive
WARNING: If you are sick and tired of reading blog posts covering the topic of the argument surrounding the level of snark present in some reviews, DO NOT READ ON. You will only succeed in pissing yourself off even more.
If you've been around blogland these past couple of days you'd know there has been a lively debate taking place about the level of snarkiness in some reviews. I posted my feelings on the issue at Alison Kent's blog on Wednesday. The basic point of the post (to save you from trawling through it) was that I have a difficult time understanding why reviewers are sometimes so bitchy about a book. I was so amazed how many people weighed in with their opinions. It was great! And so many of them made points which actually made me think again.
For example, Robin said this:
'But is that even the point — assuming you can *accurately* ascribe a motive to be mean to these bloggers? I mean, if you want to go the intent route, then if I think an author intended to write a book that offended me as a reader, can I then call it “disgusting”? I just think it’s an issue of perspective, as you said. Because your perspective is that certain reviews are over the line, you don’t see your wording of “immoral and disgusting” as aggressive or over the line itself. Because you feel passionately that you are in the right. Just like a reader-reviewer feels passionately disappointed in a book she paid for and spent time reading and feels right in sharing her opinion on that book in language that reflects the passionate righteousness of her own response. '
'Which is probably when a lot of those reviews are written, too. I know that when I just finish a book that pisses me off, it’s pretty red hot for a while. It takes a good while to get to a point where I can even articulate my responses without a lot of sputtering and cursing and elaborate hand gestures.'
You see this never happened to me. I have never been so let own by a book that I got angry. But when it does happen (it has to with the amount of books in my TBR pile) I'll probably feel like that, angry for wasting my time. I'll probably even want to rant about it here. I don't think I will though, because like I said, I don't want to kill an author's spirit.
But then I thought, 'Actually Maria, a really bad review, no matter how bitchy, might not ruin an author's spirit.' This was backed up by something Nora Roberts said(Nora Roberts commented on my post, MY POST!)
'Maria, I appreciate your take on all this, and I’m sure many others do, too. Authors and readers. For myself, harsh reviews may make me wince, then I move on. But I’ve been around a long time, and I’ve had plenty of harsh reviews for a wide variety of sources.'
Wow, Nora Roberts gets bad reviews. And she's still alive (at least I think she is).
So maybe I'm just going to have to grow up a bit, and recognize that some people have thicker skin than I do (seriously, it's like tissue paper)
It was a great, learning experience, and I feel so much better for it.
But.....(there's always a but)....some people weren't quite so willing to listen to my point of view. Instead, they completely misunderstood the point of the post (I'd go as far to say that some of them intended to misunderstand the point of the post just to cause drama).
Because I gave an opinion conflicting theirs, they got pretty antsy about it. Most of what was said had nothing to do with the point of the post. It became Operation Maria, put the girl in a box and don't let her come out. No way did they listen to anything I had to say, that was apparent when I read back over the comments, just to check I hadn't made an ass of myself. Instead, it all got quite personal. I was called quite a few things, accused of hypocrisy, preaching, adocating censorship, thinking my fellow readers are stupid.
I guarantee you none of that is true. Most of it was people twisting my words to suit themselves and actually putting words in my mouth. And they tried to make it all seem funny, that they were amused by my childish ways, but you could sense the agitation in what they wrote. They were bleeding stones in an effort to shut me up. It was bizarre. What I found most bizarre was that these people are the very ones who shout their opinions to the world, no matter how outlandish or politically incorrect. They preach about free speech but if you dare disagree with them, you're in trouble.
I guess they're insecure in some way, maybe their parents ignored them while they were growing up, maybe they were bullied at school, I don't know.
1.I wasn't preaching, I was giving my opinion.
2.I wasn't trying to change anyone's views, I was looking to understand other people's views.
3.I think readers are incredibly clever (hell, I am a reader.) It takes a lot of cleverness to write some of the bitchy reviews, well most of them anyway:)
4.Not an any point did I want to silence anyone, I only wanted to understand why people were so extreme when slating a book (and Robin gave me a great insight into that)
I do not believe this is kicking a dead horse. How can the horse be dead when everyone gets so riled up over it, and everyone has an opinion. And I do think the debate over at Alison's gave us who participated, a deeper insight into the issue, for me anyway.
But as interesting as all this was, it was sad too. My respect for some people lowered dramatically, I saw them in a light my rose-tinted glasses didn't want to see.
But there you go, c'est la vie.
Sorry for being a pest, but I had to get this straight. I'm weird like that, it's all to do with suppressed anger.