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Reviewing: the long and short of it

Following up on Steve Wasserman’s recent essay calling for longer book reviews (previously mentioned on Quillblog), Michael O’Donnell says less is more. In an essay on the book reviewing blog Critical Mass, O’Donnell argues that 800 words or so should be plenty, thanks.

I’ll take a lean review, spare as a runner headed round a quarter-mile track. I know I can’t be alone in disagreeing with the notion that it takes 2500 words to express an idea, or in feeling a little impatient with those writers who are too grand to pick the important things, say them, and then stop. Full stop.

Any reader thoughts on the ideal length of a book review are welcome; let us know what you think in the comments field.