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Book Review - how much detail?

 
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Mats
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Mar, 2005 9:12 am    Post subject: Book Review - how much detail? Reply with quote

Reviewing a book poses a dilemma. With a simple "This book is great" nobody is going to feel compelled to rush out and get a copy. With a description of the structure, plot, etc. many will feel the book has been "ruined". What level of detail do forum members here want?
Mr. Novel Reader


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llizard (aka ejm)
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Mar, 2005 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MEF wrote:
What level of detail do forum members here want?


How about using both methods?

For the "this book is great" section, you can say generic things like the book is fiction or non-fiction, whether it is a translation, it is a short or long read, etc.. You could also freely say things like "if you liked 'War and Peace', you'll love this".

I personally hate knowing anything other than title and author of a book I haven't read. But I know I'm strange. So:

Spoiler (highlight to read):
For the description of the structure, plot, etc. employ the "spoiler" button located above the message window.




Last edited by llizard (aka ejm) on Thu 24 Mar, 2005 6:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mats
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Mar, 2005 11:47 am    Post subject: Use "Spoiler" Reply with quote

Now, why didn't I think of that? !


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MrsBrown
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Mar, 2005 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MEF wrote:
What level of detail do forum members here want?


llizard wrote:
I personally hate knowing anything other than title and author of a book I haven't read. But I know I'm strange. So:

Spoiler (highlight to read):
For the description of the structure, plot, etc. employ the "spoiler" button located above the message window.

I've read many books that you've recommended, MEF, and I like the ones you recommend where you don't give much more than title, author and the reason why you liked it. I'm thinking specifically of the thread where you wrote about The Three Junes and one last year where you recommended Plainsong and Eventide. The thread you started earlier about the 2 Canadian authors didn't have enough information for me (although apparently enough for llizard). I tend not to read internet reviews of books until I've read the book because reviews give too much information and reviews don't have the excellent quality of having a spoiler box. I like to know why you like the novels, not necessarily what they are about except in very great generalities.


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CAM
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Can't Do It In Real Life? Do It On Llizard's Forum

PostPosted: Wed 23 Mar, 2005 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MEF wrote:
What level of detail do forum members here want?


For fiction, the only thing I don't like is plot spoilers, and you can hide these with a "spoiler" frame. And I'm fairly tolerant about what constitutes a plot spoiler. For example, discussion about the Poisonwood Bible that mentions relational or power dynamics among siblings and family would not be a spoiler to me unless you gave an example of a plot twist that hinged on or reflected these dynamics. I do like general info (e.g. "this book is about..."). And I like reviews that include something about the general tone of a book, the setting of the book and possibly something about some of the characters. I don't consider this "spoiling." I just don't like to see a whole story-digest as per Readers' Digest. I suspect I am more tolerant than some of llizard's forum members abouto this. I'm also one of those boring people who quite likes to see the puzzle picture before doing the puzzle. I have never seen anything remotely like a spoiler in any of your reviews, MEF.

For any non-fiction, go ahead and spoil away! The more info the better.


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Barbara
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Mar, 2005 11:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Book Review - how much detail? Reply with quote

MEF wrote:
Reviewing a book poses a dilemma. With a simple "This book is great" nobody is going to feel compelled to rush out and get a copy. With a description of the structure, plot, etc. many will feel the book has been "ruined". What level of detail do forum members here want?
Mr. Novel Reader


I'm of two minds about wanting to know nothing and wanting to know enough to read the book. Once someone was recommending I read "Contact" by Carl Sagan, and I had already previously decided it didn't sound worth reading. Then the recommender told me about one story-line in the book.

Spoiler (highlight to read):
The story-line involves a researcher calculating all the digits of pi looking for patterns. A pattern of a large number of 1s and 0s emerges, and when they see that the number in the pattern is the product of two primes x and y, they think of arranging the numbers in x rows and y columns, and the resultant pattern is the shape of a circle. Even typing this, the hair on the back of my neck is standing up.


That made me rush out to get a copy of the book. I loved it, and even though I knew the final outcome of that bit of the story, I somehow could imagine not knowing it, and still found it thrilling.


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llizard (aka ejm)
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Mar, 2005 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CAM wrote:

For any non-fiction, go ahead and spoil away! The more info the better.


Unless it's a travelogue. Then please use the spoiler button.


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Mats
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Mar, 2005 11:58 am    Post subject: OK; I think I see how to review here. Reply with quote

Goodness, Mrs. Brown, I think I'm actually blushing a bit after finding out that you LIKE my recommendations!
Besides that, I think I now know how to proceed. The Harvour/Humphreys posting was just too brief to be of value. I will expand it a bit - but not too much.
Thank you all!


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