Saturday, 13 June 2015

Clean Copy

Emily M. Keeler describes her perfect book review:
The writer covering the book has a keener-than-average grasp of the material, and can pull from more than just the book under review to make some kind of original insight that positions the book for a reader. The writer files clean copy, on time, and likes being edited and, if necessary, pushed a little bit farther in a clearer direction. The review is a well-written artifact in its own right, and it’s interesting to read whether or not I’m interested in the book itself. Sometimes this means the ideal book review has a large element of the uniquely personal response of the reviewer tied up in it; sometimes the ideal book review is a nimble argument about the themes or formal elements of the book under review; sometimes the ideal book review is an incisive close reading of the book under review to illustrate a larger point about both the book and its greater context. I’m greedy and I want all these things, all the time. I want book reviews that are appealing in myriad ways, even if the particular books under review aren’t.

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