The Reviewers' Revenge: Sometimes the Internet is Like That

In the Times.

Sometimes the Internet is like that. The traditional objects of
culture - books, movies, art - are becoming ever more distant. In their place
are reviews of reviews, museums of museums and many, many lists.

Here's my opinion of this writer's opinion about Lit-bloggers who review the reviews: I disagree! To be more exact: 1) lit bloggers do more than list favorite books, authors, easy chairs, coffee mugs, and the like. While making lists is certainly my favorite thing to do, it is not the only thing I do.

Ron Hogan, who writes a literary blog called Beatrice.com, recently began a second blog, Beatrix: A Book Review Review. He's not the only one reviewing reviewers. The blogs Bookdwarf, Conversational Reading, The Elegant Variation, Golden Rule Jones, The Reading Experience and Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind - all gloss, grade or review other people's book reviews. Most book-review reviews are summary, to say the least. Their main purpose, it seems, is to get noticed and linked to by more popular blogs.

In short, Boxer argues, book bloggers have no original ideas of their own. I would challenge this, but unfortunately I can't find a link or a quote to make my case for me.

[More seriously, see Scott Esposito.]


commonbeauty said...


I hate to agree with this fellow, but I do.

I find the celebrated book bloggers a generally uninspired bunch, whose sole purpose for being out there is not to do creative work or even to do creative reading. No. They are there for an ersatz literary celebrity, "virtual A-listers" who cross-link each other, froth at the mouth about James Woods reviews, wet themselves, not over Philip Roth's new books, but over the talk surrounding Philip Roth's new books, and generally hog the spotlight (ah, we do have a point, do we?) from those bloggers who are actually doing something creative with words every single damn day on their blogs.

And no, that's not snarky. That's acerbic.


electrostani said...

I kind of see what you mean about a certain kind of book blog, though I personally rather enjoy the texture of the book blogs. And I must admit that on occasion my own blog echoes that methodology that you dislike (quoting a review of a book that I haven't yet read).

Also, when it comes to the individual book/publishing industry blogs I read, each does something a little different and unique. Moorish Girl, for instance, has among other things been reporting on her brother's brush with American USCIS (immigration) in moving detail...