Friday, May 1, 2015

Bad Book Review Prerequisite

   "Um, excuse me?"
   "Yeah? How can I help you?"
   "I'm here to learn how to review a bad book."
   "Ah, yes. You. Well?"
   "Right. Um, I guess my question is this: if I call a book bad, does that reflect on the author negatively?"
    "What are you getting at? If a book is bad, it means the author isn't good."
   "No, I'm not talking about their talent. I'm asking about whether labeling a book bad means the author is a bad person." ... "Don't look at me like that. Art is an extension of the self. Therefore, if I say that someone's art is bad, I am, by extension, saying that the self they are expressing is bad."
   "I think you're over-thinking it."
   "A-am I?"
   "Look, are you afraid that the author is going to read your review and think you're insulting them?"
   "Maybe. Or maybe someone who likes the book will say I'm stupid."
   "Then say the story was good."
   "But that's lying!"
   "Then say it's bad."
   "But what right do I have to say whether a story is good or bad?"
   "Look, lad, you need to stop being a sissy. You have as much of a right to talk on the internet as anyone else. The difference is that you should be respectful. When you say something, make sure it's worth saying it. And if you have something legitimate to say about something that isn't that nice, then say it. Say it truthfully, but with respect. If someone doesn't like it, take their criticism and learn from it. In the same way, when you criticize something, be useful. Take this criticism as a way of teaching others how to be better: the author and the readers. Be truthful, and yet kind."
   "O... Okay. I think I can do that."
   "Good. Now leave, I have another client coming soon."
   "Right." ... "Thank you."

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