English Book Review ExamplesExamples of English book reviews
Who is a book review?" In a book review, we focus on a book-length text and briefly summarize its content, identify its hypothesis or key argument(s), and determine the level of achievement with which the writer is supporting its claim. Note that the criterions of such a task go far beyond the demands for book reporting that you probably know from your class.
The textbook review merely asks you to summarise the content of a book and finish with your own personal opinions as to whether you "liked" the book and why. This kind of high scholastic book review is not a book review that demands much more. Again, for a book review, you need to determine the arguments of the book you are reviewing, the way in which the writer is trying to endorse that particular line of reasoning, and his or her achievement in doing so.
Also, a good book review refines your ability to read critically by asking you to recognize the author's perspective: does the writer appear to be susceptible to prejudices or prejudices? These are all issues that a well-conducted book review will take into account. Click here to see the above mentioned criterions for a book.
The fundamental goal of a book review is twofold: 1) it makes you learn to literate about a fully evolved, sophisticated point, and 2) it raises your consciousness of how a good (or bad) point can be built and backed up, allowing you to offer possible policies and approach that you want to follow (or avoid) in your own work.
If you are reading a book, you may want to try to find answers to some of the following questions: And who seems to be the target group of the book? What is the book like? Strengthens the book's texture (its different parts and chapters) its greater reason? Which resources or examples does the book provide to substantiate its arguments and which are the most efficient (and least effective)?
Is the book concerned with works by other authors on the same topic, and even if not, how would you compare the book to other text you are familiar with on the same topic (e.g. text you have been reading for class)? Suppose the text for your book review is Iris Chang's The Rape of Nanking:
The bestselling work in the story illustrates the 1937 assault and occupancy of the ancient town of Nanjing by the Emperor's 1937 Japan military, which, according to Chang (in agreement with most West historians) led to a six-week long civil slaughter, characterised by rampant rapes, looting, murders and other outrage.
It is often called" rape of Nanjing". There are three major arguments in the book: most decisively that the rape of Nanjing, denied by some of Japan's historic figures, has taken place; that the Japan administration, post-war history, and thus the people of Japan as a whole, have not fully acknowledged and excused the slaughter and even denied it; and, 3.
That what Chang calls the "cover-up" of the Japans, the attempt "to remove the whole carnage from people' s minds and thus deprive its victim of his place in history", is an example of a revisionist story that amounts to denial of the Holocaust (14). Whereas its hoped-for goal in this connection is that the book "will encourage Japan's conscious to take full account of this incident", the greater case is that the story, as well as the terrible story, must be recounted truly so that we can learnt from the past (16).
This book is aimed at a non-academic US reading public who are generally not familiar with the described occurrences. This book can be described as a work of folk tales aimed at a large public. This book is structured in three parts, each of which is split into several sections. The first part historizes the codices of war and honour of Japan and then gives a detailed description of the Nanking campaigns and their numerous horrors against the civilians in 1937.
Eyewitnesses from Japan and China confirm many of these graphical depictions. The second part of the book depicts the subsequent occupancy of the town. One important part of this section is Chang's account of how far the Japans and the Japans have gone to restrict public service entry to the town in order to avoid the distribution of information about the carnage (she refers to it as "Japanese harm control").
The section ends with the freeing of the town and the Allied Criminal Wars Courts, sentencing seven high-ranking Japonese officials to hang and execution. The third part of the book depicts the postwar Japan's attempts, headed by its leaders and historic figures, to conceal the Nanjing incidents that Chang strongly censures.
Noting that, although it was "headlines around the globe at the moment of the carnage,.... but most of the globe was there and did nothing while an whole town was being slaughtered. It compares this to "the recent reaction to the horrors in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda: while almost incredibly horrific dead have been killed, the whole planet has been watching CNN and wringing its hands" (221).
The Chang selects its three-part layout to convey the variety of votes that must be listened to in order to fully understand the Nazi events: those of the sacrifices, the offenders and the historic. She compares her three-part architecture with that of the Georgian movie Rashomon, in which various testimonies of the rapists tell their stories, each from their own perspectives (including that of the murderer, the violator and an eyewitness).
This book quotes eyewitness reports from all sides, even from the West: much distance is produced by the memories of US missionsaries who were there at the moment of the carnage. It also includes a street card of the town, which marks certain places of each carnage, and twenty-four pages of photos.
Undoubtedly, the most powerful graphical reports of the event's witnesses are verbal: they are burning and difficult to overlook. Also some of the photos are very vivid (they contain several pictures of naked casualties of rapes, decapitations, corpses and the defilement of bodies and separated heads); these are very efficient prime resources, but their truthfulness has been questioned retrospectively, which affects their efficacy (see historiography and evaluation of conflicting data and claims).
It shows no measure, does not indicate Nanking's position within China's greater land mass to the intentional ignorant audience, nor the troops movement of the Japan military when they arrived in the town, nor the remains of the China military when they escaped.
The book discusses these occurrences, but they do not find any visible correlations on the maps themselves. Locations of certain carnage that have been visualized on the maps are labeled with an" X" (there are about 45), but are not identifiable by name and therefore cannot be associated with certain incidents described in the later text.
In general, before the release of Chang's book, there was not much literary material on the rape of Nanjing, although the book itself produced a large number of answers, many of them in general accord with Chang, some critiques (these, mainly those produced by learned people in Japan ), and a few who denounced her book as a complete fake.
One part of her reasoning (1997, the year her book was published) is of course that the rape of Nanjing was a generally overlooked incident before her own work. She seems to be biased against the Japans side of the story (again, this is an essential part of her reasoning and she shows the anime she has felt from the beginning towards Japans historian; given the kind of projects she has undertaken, it seems hard for her not to sense these feelings).
As the granddaughter of the former inhabitants of Nanjing (her grand-parents left just a few months before the massacres), her own backgrounds doubtless contribute to her outlook. In fact, the way in which she personalises her personalised bank details in her introductory remarks is an important and efficient "hook" that appeals to the reader: "When I was a little child, I heard about the rape of Nanjing.
They were outraged, my folks called the great Nanjing massacre, or Nanjing Datusha, the only most devilish thing the Japanese made. All in all, the book is impressive, also because of its spectacular and inscrutable cruel topic. "The New York Times, December 22, 1937, p. 38 - hardly "Front Page News").
Nevertheless, the book is catchy and strong, and as its bestseller stature proves, it was possible at the time to give birth to a hitherto largely unfamiliar, disowned or ignored history.