Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press

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I had an email exchange recently with a book review section editor at a mid-sized newspaper, admonishing him for the silly requirement of hardcover-only. He replied, along with the usual banal leftover excuses of the practice, "No one has time to separate the wheat from the chaff, especially someone like me, who is also a full-time film critic and Features reporter at a paper with significantly diminished staff."

And there you have it: deciding is too hard.


One of the main reasongs I started The Editor's Notebooks is that I decide on the length and depth of the reviews. I can also be very picky about the books I choose to write about and remain completely independent of any publishing or magazine house-style or politics. I can review new writers, unknown and established and give all good writing proper scrutiny.


I would like to call for a moratorium on all variant formulations of "____ reveals what is is to be ____[insert adjective + gender + noun] in ____ [insert century + place]" in book reviews.

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