It was an invaluable experience, one that has shaped me quite a bit. So it was with some interest that I read the comments to that little post I made yesterday dissecting another's review. While the comments on this blog were mostly supportive of my stance (home-field advantage?), I took more interest in those comments here and elsewhere that were not as complimentary. Here are a few of the highlights, followed by my commentary:
I find Larry from OF Blog of the Fallen a bit on the nose with his haughty attitude to reviewing, but then to each their own. He certainly is not a fan of Pat (click my name to link to his review of Pat's review)Ah! The first ad hominem! While it is sad that my nose needs some repair work (severely deviated septum from an errant elbow thrown while playing pickup basketball several years ago), the "haughty attitude" bit is something else. I've made it quite clear in several places over the past year that I strive to push for there to be a higher quality in reviewing, not just for blog reviews, but also for more traditional venues. If that is "haughty" then I guess I'm guilty as charged!
I'm guessing this is someone from a forum, likely the Westeros one. How nice of this "Annabelle" to use my handle there instead of my given name (considering I sign all of my blog posts now with my first name and I would have switched handles to my given name on all sites if it weren't such a hassle). Makes it feel oh so personal and distant at the same time, no? Thing is, I wasn't "whining," far from it. If I were to whine, I'd complain about how unfair things were, how the world hates me, and how I ought to cut myself while listening to Evanescence, while dying my toenails black while waiting for my hair dye to dry. Instead, I critiqued. Was it harsh? Perhaps, depending upon one's interpretation. Was it a "soapbox" thing? Maybe in the sense of pushing for improvements, but hey, that's just me and how I roll.
Yeah, Dylanfanatic climbed on his soapbox and whined a bit. But when all is said and done, no one really cares.
For Christ's sake, I think the review is clear enough. What ever could be confusing here???Dear "Beth," who just posted this within the past hour or so over at Pat's blog, it wasn't a matter of "confusion"; I understood full well that he disliked the book. That was not my argument. My point was that Pat failed to address the book as it was, instead choosing to make broad, sweeping generalizations without any evidence from the book itself to prove his points. It is an easy trap in which to fall and he did.
Sometimes I feel that some people are dense on purpose...
I'd expect only book porn posts. At least they're not strawmen like this comment on Pat's blog post, and they don't require competence, which makes them your best posts.This one, posted by a pseudonym called "aegon6," perhaps is my favorite of all. A "strawman" comment tossed about (with no evidence to support this assertation), followed by the sort of comeback that a middle school kid might think would be effective. Yeah, and yo mama too! Whatever...
But this last quip, lacking as it is, contains a kernal of something that I do wish to see from others reading my commentaries and reviews here and elsewhere. If there is a "strawman" in any of my arguments, I want them pointed out with detailed evidence. This ad hominem puerile nonsense doesn't benefit me; it certainly won't convince me to "see the error of my ways." I know there are reviews of mine that are weaker than others; challenge me on those to improve the quality of my writing by noting the things that need shoring up. I'm willing to man up to those faults and the rare times it has occurred, I have learned from it.
Finally, for those who might think it's a "sour grapes" situation, think again. Despite what some might think from reading just that review, I have nothing personal against Pat, but I do have a lot against what I see as shoddy reviews. After all, one can take the grad student away from grad school, but good luck trying to take the grad school out of the former grad student. Upwards and onwards, no?