Sunday, October 11, 2009

Phone It In Sunday: Brad Meltzer Responds to the Critics

Kudos to mystery-thriller writer Brad Meltzer for having a positive outlook on the bad reviews he's gotten from the various failed authors book reviewers, panning his New York Times best-selling books (official motto: suck on THAT, haters!)

Brad produced this video, having kids from the Little League team he coaches, plus residents from his grandmother's nursing home read the high points from his reviews.

Although I have a friend who is soon wending her way to Oxford to get a Master's degree in literature and literary criticism, I don't think much of the form when it's nothing more than petty book reviewers who get sadistic delight in driving a dagger through the heart of an author, just to make himself or herself sound smarter. It's too easy to bitch and whine about why you think something sucks, like it's supposed to make you sound cool.

It doesn't. It makes you sound like an asshole.

Several years ago, when my dad was writing his college textbook,Motivation: Biological, Psychological, and Environmental he had to have each chapter reviewed by three failed textbook writers other college professors. He said nearly all the reviews came back negative, which was really disheartening. I reminded him that these are all people who only wanted to sound smart to the editor, and were probably bitter that they had never been asked to write a textbook themselves.

"Highly developed spirits often encounter resistance from mediocre minds," I said, quoting Albert Einstein.

So, Brad, I'm glad you were able to take the negative responses to your wildly popular books, and do something fun with it. My hat is off to you.

And all the reviewers who are not New York bestseller authors can just suck it.

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1 comment:

  1. Whatever happened to reviewers or critics (which is really the objective, right? to critique?) who actually discussed the book instead of rating it?

    I don't really care how good [revolving critic door name] thought the book was. Obviously it was good enough to review. I want analysis of the contents, it's relevance and other information I, as an average reader, might miss out on otherwise.

    Save the rankings for the to 10 lists.


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