Lisa S | Chicago Reader

Voracious reader of unusual novels. Does medical transcriptions by day. Happily partnered.

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Re: “The Prospect of My Arrival: oh, the techno-humanity!

Which would I prefer from a critic -- honesty or etiquette? How about honesty AND etiquette? I find the best critics can multi-task.

And I think artists should be respected, whether a critic likes their effort or not. Art is a tough job. Criticizing? Not so much. If it was easy, Tony, you'd be making art full-time yourself.

Posted by Lisa S on 04/21/2012 at 1:56 AM

Re: “The Prospect of My Arrival: oh, the techno-humanity!

Okay, I'll just make this comment and then I've got to start my new exercise regime for spring!
One thing I like about reviews via blog is that it allows for a diversity of opinions on a subject. Not just the critic's. It's more a conversation. No book speaks to everyone. And a book that is moving and provocative to one reader -- might leave another reader cold. I think the most persuasive reviews mention things they like as well as dislike. This book review seemed a little short on the positives, so it makes me take the negatives a bit less seriously. I think it's great the Reader is looking at indie authors and such. I wish Mr. Tony's review was a little more well-rounded. A review can be both critical and gracious at the same time. Can point out
both strengths and weaknesses. It's not all or nothing.

By the way, I get really put off by snarkiness in reviews. I find it really tiring. Not entertaining or witty at all. But that's me. (Also I think I professional reviewer should put his real headshot up and leave old Walt Whitman alone!)

Siskel and Ebert often disagreed on movies, and they were both smart guys as I recall. At the end of the day, I loved this book. It wasn't a perfect book, but then I don't read books because they're perfect. I read them because they engage me, they move me. Like this one did. Now, on to the Stairmaster before I change my mind...

Posted by Lisa S on 04/16/2012 at 3:00 PM

Re: “The feculency factor: reviewing a bunch of self-published books

There are many good self-published books out there. There is a tone in this article that suggests one should avoid them. Even if all 6 or so self-pubbed books were bad, it's too bad an article looking at emerging publishing paradigms would seem so dismissive. I like Prospect of My Arrival quite a bit. As did the Penguin editors overseeing the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest which chose it as one of the top ten out of 5,000 novels. I doubt they'd do that if they found it "unreadable."

But everyone's entitled to their opinion. A few months ago, another paper Windy City Times said, "The Prospect of My Arrival is a book that is serious, poignant and engaging." At the end of the day, paradigms are definitely shifting. That surely makes some people nervous. Even the role of the traditional newspaper critic is changing as there are fewer reviews printed and readers turn to sites like Goodreads.com, Kindle Nation Daily and IndieReader.com and the many blogs for recommendations. These days for movies, I'm more likely to turn to RottenTomatoes.com than a single reviewer. Crowd-sourcing gives a wider range of responses. More democratic and diverse.

Here's a link to Prospect's Amazon page to read other Amazon customer reviews and critical responses. The book got 4.5 stars out of 5 from 19 customers. And of course you can read an excerpt from the novel as well there. Love that about Ammy.

http://www.amazon.com/Prospect-My-Arrival-…

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Lisa S on 04/16/2012 at 2:21 PM

Re: “The Prospect of My Arrival: oh, the techno-humanity!

I just assumed the nice restaurant was House of Pies, which I assumed might be like Bakers Square of Intl House of Pancakes. A place where both meals and sweet snacks were served. Those may not seem like "nice restaurants" to everyone, but they are to some folks. I love IHOP!

Posted by Lisa S on 04/13/2012 at 1:34 AM

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