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Sunday, December 14, 2014
Writing book reviews
Book reviewing is another way for new writers to get into print and practice skills in another area of writing.
here are John Updike's 5 rules for reviewers:
Try to understand what the author wished to do, and do not blame them for not achieving what they did not attempt.
Give them enough direct quotation – at least one extended passage – of the book’s prose so the reader can form their own impression, can get their own taste.
Confirm your description of the book with quotation from the book, if only phrase-long, rather than proceeding by fuzzy precis.
Go easy on plot summary, and do not give away the ending.
If the book is judged deficient, cite a successful example along the same lines, from the author’s oeuvre or elsewhere. Try to understand the failure. Sure it’s theirs and not yours?
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