The OF Blog: I've decided to change my reviewing approach here

Sunday, April 01, 2012

I've decided to change my reviewing approach here

I've given up.  After one too many "tl;dr" comments when I would write 1000-1200 words covering a story's strengths and deficiencies, I realize that I have to give into that Borg-like mass reviewing system.  So I am going to be implementing a rating system shortly, beginning with my review of Everlast's upcoming debut novel, Jump Around, later this month.

Since it seems readers do not like it when a reviewer gives a zero star/1 rating, I will also be forced to implement "grade inflation" in order for those tl;dr readers to be better able to correlate my "score" with those of other distinguished reviewers.  Ostensibly, the scale will be based on ten, but in reality, it will go something like this:

6.66  – This work is of the devil.  The prose is wretched, the characterizations pathetic, and there are too many Canadians ruining any possibility of narrative flow.

7.5 – This will be the default rating.  It does not matter if the work is the nth volume of an epic fantasy series that fails to move the plot along or if the novel/collection in question is a brilliant riposte regarding the prejudices shown toward rabid squirrels, unless I get inebriated,stoned, or am betrayed by a rabid squirrel and contract rabies, this shall be the default rating.

8.675309 – The "Jenny" exception, reserved only for novels written by a Jenny or which feature a character named Jenny.

9.0210 – The "Beverly Hills" exception, reserved for novels set in Beverly Hills or which feature a character who thinks that Tori Spelling was a great actress.

Hopefully, these new ratings will help readers to better appreciate the subtle nuances that go into explaining why one novel was mediocre and received a 7.5 while another was brilliant and totally deserved that 7.5 rating.  Does this help clear up any confusion about how well/poorly I rate novels now?


Bryce said...

It cleared things up pretty well, though I wish you had a few more options. Overall, I'd give it a 7.5

Larry Nolen said...

Good, because if 7.5 is good enough for Proust, it's good enough for me.

Unknown said...

This reminds me that anyone who reads the occasional review I post on my blog must hate everything I do, as I only provide a star rating when I post it to Amazon or wherever.

You should add another category though. Something below 7.5 Maybe two categories:

Or something like that. Add numbers as you see fit.

*dances away*

Larry Nolen said...

Ha! Well, I almost added the god-like Shatner category, but that would take it totally to 11.

RobB said...

Surprised you didn't add 3.16 as a rating. Or two middle fingers. Or even the five-knuckle grade.

Larry Nolen said...

I'm saving the 3.16 rating for when I start reviewing wrestling here and the five-knuckle shuffle would be reserved for guests reviewing porn? ;)

Gabriele Campbell said...

I think you should give a bonus point to the 7.5 ranking if the novel is written in Spanish or some other non-English language. Writing in anything but English must be pretty hard, so cut the poor authors some slack.

Larry Nolen said...

Oh, for non-English-language works, the rating would be 7,5/10. Only fair, n'est ce pas?

David H said...


Larry Nolen said...

Ha! Next time, I'll write something that'll dwarf even a John C. Wright screed.

Mike said...

is 5.318008 reserved for books with gratuitous nudity?

Larry Nolen said...

Well, I'd have to start reviewing picture books for the gratuitous nudity to come into play... ;)

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