Should a reviewer bother to read the book he’s reviewing?

You’d say yes, surely?  Transgressions and False Colors had some publicity and a semi-review in the Bay City Reporter yesterday, The link is HERE.

Not very flattering, all in all, but then again, people outside haven’t seen the genre before and obviously expected more of a happy ending in their romance – excuse us for being true to the period!! I find “homophilic” mildly offensive however.(and if other people can be offended easily, I think that it’s my turn, to be honest)

But what really gets me is that I firmly believe that if you are going to review a book, and more especially if you are going to be unflattering about it, is that YOU SHOULD HAVE BLOODY WELL READ IT. 

I mean… “Transgressions plants us down in Civil War-era Virginia, where British teen Jonathan is sent off on a ship to the colonies after a sexual peccadillo (topping his wealthy and pervy master in a barn reverses the class order, a major taboo then). He winds up working as a blacksmith on the plantation of a kindly owner and his handsome son David.”

The ignorance displayed here (even if he hadn’t actually read the book) is startling – as since when is “Civil War Virginia” set in 1600?  The logic makes my head burn. Also the “wealthy “ master he was topping in the barn WAS DAVID. They’d not have bothered to transport Jonathan, Mr Reviewer, they’d have hanged him. If he was lucky.  Gah. I have sent a letter to the editor. I never respond to reviews, but in this case I think I have a fair point. Make me your review editor. I couldn’t do worse, Bay City Reporter.


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2 Responses to Should a reviewer bother to read the book he’s reviewing?

  1. spanky says:

    And then Jim Provenzano has the nerve to bitch about you noticing his mistake and cattily claims he mixed up the books he was reviewing.

    Yeah you should review books for those morons since Jim seems to be a scatterbrained dolt. He can read but his comprehension skills are lacking.

  2. Erastes says:

    It was a bitchy thing all round. I don’t mind a bad review – had a few here and there, but at least the reviewers actually read the book.

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