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Janitor On Duty

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February 3rd, 2009

10:56 AM

My very own Reviewer Angst drama

Since everyone seems to be indulging in deep thoughts lately about the role of reviewers in the bigger scheme of existence, here's mine: Ann Somerville has a new story out. Don't ask me for the link - since I'm now on her list of enemies, she has banned any traffic from my blog to her website, so linking is pointless on my part - if you click on any link from her to her place you will get a forbidden message. And she will know your IP number and realize that you are one of my sixteen sockpuppets. Think about that for a second.  

Okay, so here is my dilemma. I want to read the story. I want to review it when I am done. I don't hate Ann or anything, mind you, so I have no problems giving her $3.99, minus Lulu's cut, for a well-written story. Any enmity or plans on my part to destroy Ann originated strictly from her own paranoia. The fact that I'm willing to buy that latest self-published effort of her should tell you something, heh.

But will such a review be taken seriously*, especially if I don't like the story and end up giving it an unfavorable review? I personally have no problems believing that I can separate Ann the Crusader for Good and Righteous and Ann the Author, because I did the same thing in my review of her last book. The problem here is that Ann has created some very interesting Alfred Hitchcock drama about the Web versus her, bits and pieces of her charming rant are floating out there in Google's cache, Teddypig's blog, and Karen Scott's blog, and I have a pretty big supporting role in that movie.

Is there really a point in reviewing Ann's newest effort, given all that have happened between her and me? I suppose I can just put in this blog my thoughts of her book, but if that book is good, I'd like the review to be seen by more people out there, and there are more people visiting my website than my blog. Hmm, maybe that is what I will do - put up the review only if I love the story. But on a personal front, I feel as if I'm copping out or something if I do that. Hmm.

* By this, I mean you, of course. Who cares what Ann think about my review of her books - I'm not reviewing to make her happy, after all!

7 comment(s).

Posted by Jody W.:

I wouldn't think anything about a review of anyone's book on this site, be it positive or negative, besides, "Oh, look, Mrs. Giggles posted a review." However, I don't know how many of your review readers care about Romancelandia politics or would judge your review according to their interpretation of these politics.
February 3rd, 2009 @ 10:17 PM

Posted by emily:

A review, ultimately, is of a book and only a book. I hope you will go ahead and post one :)
February 4th, 2009 @ 1:44 AM

Posted by Elle Parker:

You have a pretty good (and long) track record. I'd take it seriously. You wouldn't be where you are if you played games with reivews.
February 4th, 2009 @ 2:06 AM

Posted by Gennita Low Jenn:

You bought the book. No need to angst--review it if you want.
February 4th, 2009 @ 9:58 AM

Posted by Emmy:

You can review it, but most people who have already decided they won't touch Ann's work with a 10ft pole won't pay attention anyways. M/m is too much of a fishbowl.

But you could still review it for the one person in this corner of the blogosphere who missed the drama and might be interested.
February 4th, 2009 @ 10:06 AM

Posted by Nicole Kimberling:

Just go ahead and review the book. You are one of a handful of reviewers who 1) aren't also authors and 2) give honest reviews. Don't let this bother you.:)
February 4th, 2009 @ 10:08 AM

Posted by Louise van Hine:

I say review it. Ultimately a review stands or falls on the reputation of its writer, not on the reputation (or lack thereof) of the book's author. Even if it isn't a positive review, you are entitled to your opinion in your own blog, and I think it is not only fair but courageous of you to want to read and review something by an author whose work you respect, even if she is the biggest drama queen on the Interwebs.
February 5th, 2009 @ 4:54 AM