15 April 2009

On Ratings

Earhart and I enjoy the freedom this blog gives us to express our distaste or great love (it rarely falls in the middle) for the books we cram into our heads on a relatively regular basis. We also particularly like our ratings table, as it is a fair reflection of what we find important in a novel (as well as what we could do without).

People have asked why we review books that we KNOW are probably going to be a load of rubbish (e.g. books with sparkly covers... books with the endorsement 'jaunty' splashed across the cover... books with overly aggressive marketing schemes... etceterrahhh, etcetterrahhh). The answer is this: it is not possible to fully scorn a book unless you have actually read it. I respect those who read a novel and disliked it, I pity and loathe those who didn't read it yet still feel confident in loudly expressing their dislike of said novel.

Also, there is much to be said for ensuring your reading tastes occasionally include those novels catering to the lowest common denominator. Too much Dostoevsky, Ibsen and Proust and you'll find yourself struggling to conduct a normal conversation, totally unable to embrace the usual spectrum of human emotion and instead employing the desperate reaches of your literary paladins. You will increasingly find yourself the only person worth talking to at a cocktail party and discreet bodyguards will have you removed from the premises after you are found talking forcefully to yourself in the bathroom whilst setting off the smoke alarm with your roll-up and writing a Dear John letter to your intellectually challenged yet insipidly beautiful beloved on the wallpaper with a fountain pen that once belonged to Sir Walter Scott that you bought for 18000 quid.

A dire situation to find yourself in, I'm sure you'd agree.

All this is apropos of our stand that we can rate and review books dependent on our mood, fancy or size of pay-off we are getting from the publisher. (Sigh, this last one hasn't happened but we can only hope, one day, some day, our literary ethics will be compromised and we will find ourselves swimming through the Venetian canals. We will be so rich we will have had them cleaned.)

AND, this goes to say that other websites should also be able to rate books as they see fit. Like Amazon. TECHNICALLY, they can organise their ratings any way they see fit.

HOWEVER, if it is true that they have removed the sales rankings from literature it classifies as 'adult' (which includes themes of homosexuality) then I am horrified and demand the fascists attend a seminar on 'Getting By in the 21st Century When You Have the Emotional Intelligence of a Medieval Frog'.
Search Engine Submission - AddMe