Friday, November 10, 2006

Puzzled

After staying silent for quite some time, I finally can't anymore. A few months ago, a review from Enchanted Ramblings reviewed Last Chance and gave it 4.5 magic wands. One would think this would excite me. Well, it would... if I could understand why they gave it such a high rating. You see, there was very little good said in the review. The reviewer, who obviously knows nothing about New Age beliefs, also said: "I found the mixture of contemporary New Age mixed with the more paranormal possibilities a bit jarring, as they didn’t seem to go together too well, but I really enjoyed the inclusion of the ghosts." Okay, so they liked the ghosts. The ghosts are fun, but I don't understand how someone can review something if they know nothing about the material. It's just me. What can I say? (shrug) So, I had to get this off of my chest. It's been bugging me to no end, I tell you. And pissed me off not a little.

You see, my mother is a Bible thumper. Okay, she doesn't thump the Bible; she beats the Bible... hard. I never understood Christianity as explained by her. I couldn't wrap my head around the righteous, jealous god she preached about. Luckily, I have an aunt whose beliefs are firmly in the New Age camp. She introduced me to many things and let me know that I wasn't crazy or evil just because I saw things and experienced things that my mother said the Bible claimed to be of Satan. My aunt reads Tarot, believes in past lives, exorcises ghosts, and meditates every day. I could also name a number of New Age gurus who have had numerous experiences with what is termed "paranormal". Christianity believes in demons and angels; why can't New Age include paranormal too?

Sometimes, if something doesn't fit in the box, people don't like it. My confusion stems from the person liking the book, but not giving me any reason to believe he/she liked it.

In case you didn't find the link for the review, it's here: http://www.enchantedramblings.net/reviews/review0444.html Please weigh in and tell me what you think. :)

Okay. I feel better. :)

Kit

6 Comments:

Blogger Duke_of_Earle said...

Hi, Kit. Thanks for the visit and the comment. I see from your blogroll that we share a lot of the same sites as regular reads. I had just never taken the time to check yours out before now.

A few months ago Zinnia Hope's "Free Spirits" was reviewed by Literary Sass. I had bought and read the book (from Freya's Bower) and enjoyed it. Told Zinnia so. She was distressed by the review, so I checked it out and chose to weigh in with a comment on the review site. I had no issues with the reviewer's dislike of the way Zinnia phrased certain passages, or of the criticism that Zinnia was repeating (to the reader) one bit of information too many times. Those are legitimate criticisms of a literary work.

But I took issue with the reviewer's claim (and her taking seemingly personal offense) that the book contained passages bordering on bestiality.

That, to me, was not even hinted at in the story. I commented that for a reviewer to claim that it was in the story told me she hadn't read the book very thoroughly. I didn't intend my comments as an attack on the reviewer, but as a criticism of her review. I thought she owed it to any author she reviewed to limit her critique to what was actually contained in the book itself.

WOO-HOO! She was miffed! And she let me know it.

Maybe I was out of line. My point is that although I haven't read your book, the short review impressed me as pretty positive. What she found "jarring" others may not. I don't mind a reviewer expressing a personal opinion, even if I disagree with it. So, bottom line, my advice is to take to heart the pretty darned significant positives from the review, and don't worry about her personal opinion concerning (as you say) something she may know nothing about.

No author's writing will please every reader. Just accept that some won't like what you write, and go on.

Remember Ricky Nelson's "Garden Party?"
"You can't please everyone, so you've got to please youself."

Long comment. Sorry. I'll have to buy your book and see if I like your writing, I guess. Then I can offer an informed opinion.

John

7:19 AM  
Blogger Kit Wylde said...

Thanks, John. I am not nearly as talented as Ms. Hope. She is an amazing writer. :)

I didn't take the review personally. It confused me. When I went to take a snippet from to promote my book, I couldn't find one to use, which was disappointing. Maybe I will have to go back and re-read it and see if perhaps I was mistaken. LOL It's not impossible.

Thanks,

Kit

1:29 PM  
Blogger Duke_of_Earle said...

Hmmmm.

How about, "A nice short read...I really enjoyed." I only left out a few words in between.

John

1:58 PM  
Blogger Kit Wylde said...

Yes, it looks like I could do that, John. Maybe even pull a few other things as well.

Thanks!

Kit

9:40 PM  
Blogger Faith said...

Sometimes I think that reviewers have so many books to actually read that they do skim or don't read thoroughly as John said. However, the downside to this is that it makes for some warped reviews, lol.

Imho, I think you're writing rocks, Kit. And I'm tough to please when it comes to fiction.

1:41 PM  
Blogger CaliMarie said...

I didn't find the review to be bad, honestly.

Just because the reviewer finds something "jarring" doesn't mean the next writer or the next writer is going to feel the same.

I read it and didn't find a thing within it jarring. I loved it, too. So, we know that issue has nothing to do with your work. That has to do with the reader and their knowledge base.

You weren't writing a story to provide more insight into New Age and paranormal activity...into how the two mesh...etc. So, it wasn't your job to make this clearer to this particular reader.

You did your job. And as long as you're satisfied with that...a reader can take whatever he or she wants from your work.

1:15 PM  

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