Book Reviews

Book Review Clichés I’d Like To See, by Darryl Campbell

To Mr. Campbell’s list of descriptions he’d like to see used in book reviews, I would add:

  • Romance novel-style “heat levels” assigned to political works.
  • Comparisons of authors to vegetables. “He writes like a rutabaga that aspires to be an eggplant.”
  • Mad lib-style plot summaries where they replace key elements of the story with top trending hash tags from Twitter. “A young man’s journey to #replacebandnameswithpancakes is upset by a sudden #Mini Lady Gaga.”
  • Old/Middle English vocab: inept authors should be described as “leprous” or “writhled”.
  • One word: lolspeak. “I can haz Pulitzer now?”

I cannot even imagine putting the months (or even years) of effort into writing a novel, only to have it dismissed as “woefully inadequate”. The thought of having anything I’ve written professionally reviewed makes me break out in hives.

What’s the worst or most confusing feedback you’ve ever gotten on something you’ve written? I once had a story I’d written described as “fairly disgusting”–by someone who was recommending it to others!


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