Parts of a Book ReviewPart of a book review
From Anatomy 101: The Four Parts of a Book Review?
Tuesday, The Millions published an interesting article by Darryl Campbell entitled "Is This Book Bad, or Is It Just Me? The" book review anatomy" that I've been reflecting on for some years. In the beginning, while I was willing to use the play thanks to an unnecessary derogatory and hostile excavation in the universe of amaetur review (or whatever you want to use), I found Campbell's book review ergonomics useful to think about how I am writing about a book and what I am hoping to gain when I am reading a book review.
Amidst the establishment of his intention with the essay - to make a proposal as to what book review should be, rather than what they should not be - Campbell makes this comment about the general state of book review: I think we all agreed that A) "book review" is a prestige category of literary activity sought by the public, and B) there is a continuum of, let's say, discerning perception - what we could call "value" or "quality" in the era before any award - on which the strictly formulated New York/London Lys. et cetera writings expressed many thousands of times.
A. Book critiques can be found at one end, the quick responses of John Q. Tumblr at the other. Frankly..... if Campbell really didn't want to suggest that John Q. Tumbler's book was less than a review in a major magazine, he wouldn't have made that review. Even before deconstructing a book review, the implying is that reviewing on a blog is less worthwhile than reviewing your own book is, although, as we will soon see, there is nothing in the structure of a book review that Campbell proposes that a blogger/goodreads/Tumblr reviewers could not reach if that were their aim.
But if you leave that little excursion behind you, Campbell's play makes a great deal of sence. Following analysis of many book review (most or all from major sources), Campbell proposes four critique elements: response, review, aesthetic evaluation, and historic evaluation. First two are pretty clear, I think, and are often the fundamental issues of a review - what do you think of the book, and what was the book about?
Then a review can take hold of the next elements: to give the book a more profound criticism and to teach the review readers something we did not know before (aesthetic evaluation) and to place the book in the larger literary universe (historical evaluation). In his play, which I suggest you study, Campbell goes into each of these virtues in more detail.
This, too, is the point at which I think Campbell wants to make his distinction based on the qualtity of the conclusions/reviewers (without actually getting out and saying it again). It is relatively simple to tell the reader what a book is about and if you liked it; it is more difficult to place it in relation to other titles or to interpret it like an authority on the subject and give it a lot of criticism.
Whilst a page like Goodreads focuses on the first and second element (with star rating, shelves and room to write reviews), this does not mean that Campbell's four-part reviewing could not be included. I would think the fact that they are often not is more a consequence of the fact that reader as consumer cares less about those issues and more about information that tell them if a book is worth to spend their case and moneys on.
Nevertheless, I think it is a book review of ancient anomaly that is accessible and might be useful to critics at all tiers of "critical perception" if we think about the concepts of esthetic and historic perception more widely than Campbell in his work. Anyone reading widely and contemplatively can relate a new book to others when they are writing or talking about it, or whether the argument of a new book is consistent with the facts of our living experiences.
In spite of a dubious opening crowd, Campbell has succeeded in extracting a number of useful critiques to attract more people. I' m just wondering what you all think - what are you looking for in a book review? Which kind of "expertise" or backgrounds does an assessor need to carry out these evaluations?
Are there any qualities in the book reviews you are looking for Campbell? Latest information, new publications and recommended readings for non-fiction book reader!