I was on Goodreads earlier and came across a post entitled “Do people tend to criticize the books they read, in a rather destructive manner rather than constructive?”
Only a few responses are showing so far, but I find this question to be one I ponder quite often. What is constructive v.s. destructive “criticism.” One commentary by Feliks Dzerzhinsky was quite interesting and well thought out.
The following is my own post in response. I will be touching on this question over time, but I wanted to share my thoughts here and see what you, as a reader, think about the original question.
A well written and thought out commentary. However, I believe that the question refers to the degree of cruelty that some reviews seems to take joy in pouring vitriol onto the heads of the author. There is a great deal of difference between criticism and chivvying the author and being obsessively destructive. I can write some blistering reviews. However, those reviews are always well-thought-out and give specifics for why I think the author should go flush their heads.
I.e., in the case of Twilight. It isn’t only the book itself I am blistering, it is the publishing industry for taking that horrifically substandard tomb and forcing it down the throats of the public. With all of the good books awaiting publishing, they chose to print and force down our throats a book with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Apparently because the writer is “connected”.
What I find offensive is the “reviewer” who rates a book low and yet gives no truly logical reasoning for doing so. They simply say something cruel and hurtful about the author or the book without any reasoning process behind it. I read a 1-star review the other day regarding one of my favorite authors where the person said “This is a children’s book.” Just that, and a one star. Come on! So it would be a great book for a kid to read. So? Does that make it a bad book? No, it just didn’t ring this person’s bell. But! Was it well written? Were the characters believable? Was the editing well done? All those things could have been addressed and the book could have been rated on an intelligent level. Instead, the ‘reviewer’ didn’t review the book at all, she/he was simply dismissive. In other words, why even do it if you aren’t going to do it correctly? Apparently, just to hurt the author and anyone else who reads, or considers reading, the book.
Yes, the Twilight writer deserves to be “punched out” for the garbage she wrote. But if you are going to take the swing, it is tremendously more adult and civilized to do so by writing exactly WHY she and her publishing gurus should take it in the face rather than simply throwing a fit and falling down in it.
- Reviews (stephanie-hurt.com)