from the shadow of a pigeon that starved to death."
- Abraham Lincoln on the debating ability of Stephen A. Douglas.
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #83|
Oh, and some deft humor shouldn't hurt the cause.
Listed from the merely annoying to the intolerable, here are the ten most egregious and common strategic mistakes perpetrated by reviewers:
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #49|
There is never any need to spell out a dozen other poets who write as well or as badly as this one. No one GAS. Just show us if this book is any bloody good.
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #73|
7. Book Reporting
A plot outline is not a review. Even if I love murder mysteries I don't want to waste time reading a godawful one. If the collection has an overall theme describe it briefly and move on to the task at hand. Books about one topic aren't inherently better or worse than those on other subjects. No one GAS. Just show us if this book is any bloody good.
6. Content Regency
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #53|
Unless you are being held hostage by corporate terrorists and are trying to pass along the message that this book is the usual Autobiography of a Nobody, do not tap out the quotidian minutiae of the author's misspent or underlived life. Save that for the Nobel Committee. We don't GAS about who made the last film, TV sitcom or pizza we enjoyed. Why would we care about who wrote a poetry collection--especially one you might be warning us to avoid? Seriously. No one GAS. Just show us if this book is any bloody good.
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #32|
Stop restating your overall evaluation and give us supporting examples. Ideally, these will speak for themselves, obviating the need for your evaluation entirely. Show, don't tell. There is no need to get bogged down in polemics. No one GAS. Just show us if this book is any bloody good.
Others brush off blurbers like the gadflies they may be. Not this squirrel. I rate blurbers half a notch above plagiarists, but only when I'm in a generous mood. Smarm is dishonest, cowardly, and cloying. It is a betrayal of precious readership trust. It is like antimatter to the reviewing process. Sifting through such unadulterated spam is one reason why no one GAS.
Just show us if this book is any bloody good.
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Earl Gray, Esquirrel