Skip to content

Reflections of a working writer and reader



How Not To Write a Book Review

Have you had a bad review lately?

Slate poetry editor, Robert Pinsky, considers what happened to John Keats and the review which, allegedly, killed him.

4 Responses to “How Not To Write a Book Review”

  1. Jim Murdoch says:

    I’ve only had one ever. By that I mean so far. A girl on Goodreads gave Living with the Truth a 1-star rating and all she said was she couldn’t finish it. That made me rather sad but I can’t imagine any review would be worth killing oneself over. My first two books are out as e-books now – the official notification goes up tonight – and so I’m going to be looking for some reviews from that community and I’ll be interested to see what I get. From what I can see most e-book only authors tend to work in genres and I have no idea how you would classify what I do. I suspect a few might not be on the same page as me but we’ll see.

  2. I have drafted a book from the point of view of an 12 year old boy and asked some children at a local school to review it (without revealing my identity). Got some good reviews but also this: I hated how you thought you were being funny and you were not.
    Also: ‘Dieabolikal’.
    So that told me.

  3. john baker says:

    ‘Dieabolikal’ should win some kind of prize. Best thing I heard all day.

  4. Freda says:

    It goes to show that different people have different tolerance. It’s how much you put your heart on your work and yet despite your effort, it’s not good enough. I can’t blame anybody doing this but it’s really not worth dying for me at least.