Quill and Quire

Industry news

« Back to

Lose the big books

A U.S. litblog, Conversational Reading, checks in on everyone’s favourite subject, the state of book reviewing. In this case, it’s the big-book syndrome, in which a new title by a major author receives nearly identical reviews in just about every publication out there. In a mini-essay called “Review Allocation,” blogger Scott Esposito cites Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s latest, Memories of My Melancholy Whores, as a case in point: “everyone is reviewing this book, and either they straight-up don’t like it or they basically dance around how bad the book is because Gabriel Garcia Marquez is Gabriel Garcia Marquez.”

Not that the problem is confined to negative judgments. Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, writes Esposito, “was a book most reviewers liked, but I swear I would have vomited if I read one more review that outlined how America went fascist after it elected Lindbergh president.”

Related links:
Click here for the Conversational Reading entry on big-book syndrome