Saturday, 2 May 2009

Book Giveaway #2

I'm giving away Lost Hearts in Italy by Andrea Lee on my blog so if anyone is interested please hop over and leave your mark.

This is the first book where I've seen a number of rave reviews right up alongside as many (or more) hate reviews everywhere I look. I got the impression that the writers of many of the really poisonous ones resent the author for reasons that will be apparent to anyone reading her bio, and reject the book based on the fact that she writes about people like herself who live in her world. Really, how else does one explain a one-star review based on an opinion such as: 'Does the author expects us to believe that a Greek billionaire would be interested in a little black girl?' Or, 'This author just wants everyone to know she went to Harvard.' Seriously, this was the context of many of the bad reviews.

I enjoyed her story because it explores the very common phenomenon where people hurt the people they love and destroy the good in their lives for the sake of a random passion they don't even understand. The writing itself is beautiful, and the novel is stylistically intriguing.


Leigh Russell said...

I came across a blog recently where the writer said she only reviews books she enjoyed. I think this is a principle that all reviewers should adopt, within reason. I'm not saying there should be no adverse critique, but I think it's outrageous how reviewers slag off books, performances, shows, etc. All artistic works (well, most) take a huge effort to produce and it annoys me that some reviewers frankly take pleasure in venting their personal spleen slagging off other people's endeavours. (My own book's with reviewers prepublication as I write this...)

Fiona said...

Exactly. Why do some writers have to be so cruel to other writers. Of all people, they should know how hard this writing game is.

Lane said...

Reviews like that are so lame. They say far more about the reviewer than the book itself.

Wordtryst - Liane Spicer said...

Leigh, that writer is absolutely right, and I try to abide by the same principle. If I don't enjoy a book I'm not going to get on some site like Amazon and torch it. OTOH, a great read might inspire me to write a glowing review.

Some of these so-called reviewers should learn a bit about constructive criticism. "Don't waste your money" just doesn't cut it.

Wordtryst - Liane Spicer said...

Fiona, yes, some writers are unspeakably cruel to other writers. Thank goodness most writers are not like that.

Lane, that is exactly what I perceived in the case of this title.

Flowerpot said...

I once had to interview a writer whose book I hadn't enjoyed very much. It was very difficult for me, so in fact I asked her for her take on the novel - which was completely different from mine so I was glad I hadn't said anything!