Book Reviews Versus Critiques

An article I found by visiting our friend Jo Robinson’s blog. Okay, so I found it last week but I decided to share it today.

Have We Had Help?

book-review

Since sites like Amazon gave the general public the opportunity to review any book they have read, what many still fail to understand, or indeed appreciate, is the difference between writing a review and what amounts to a critique.

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Here is a typical example of a professional newspaper review:

The Secret History of the Blitz by Joshua Levine, review: ‘tunnels behind clichés’.

Next is an example of a critique by an individual who quite simply failed to appreciate the book they read:

A second weakness in Frankl’s writing is in the assumptions he sometimes makes to prove his point. He makes overarching generalizations several times in his book, making statements that, although may have been true for himself and those around him, might not have been true for every prisoner in every concentration camp during the Holocaust. For example, in one instance, he says, “The prisoner of Auschwitz …

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