Yesterday, I had fun reading the 19th century reviews of Bleak House by Charles Dickens. Blimey, they didn’t review in Victorian times – they berated!
I read that George Henry Lewes told off Dickens for killing off Mr Krook by spontaneous combustion. I won’t quote the actual review but basically, Mr Lewes argued that spontaneous combustion ‘Could not possibly be’ (Quote taken from the Penguin Classics version of Bleak House edited by Nicola Bradbury in 2003). Well, it turns out that Charles Dickens wrote back to George Henry Lewes (who was married to George Elliot) and so the critique letters continued.
Just for fun, I also enjoyed Charlotte Bronte’s critique on of Dickens’s Esther Summerson ‘Twaddling’ that is the word that Charlotte Bronte made up, let’s have it again ‘TWADDLING’..
Book reviews are both the holy grail and the thorn in the side of all indie authors.
My books have had some great reviews, some invisible reviews (I think that free books should generate compulsory reviews – but what do I know?) and some rude and awful reviews – I won’t go into it.
Remember, reviews are for your fellow readers, you are not writing a complaint to the author.
The other problem I have encountered is reviewers copying and pasting another person’s review and adding it to their own. You can’t all say exactly the same thing? Surely? Again, it’s not fair on your reading friends if you do this.
For what it’s worth, this is what I think:
It is not Dickensian times anymore, please don’t ‘tell off’ authors.
Reviews should be written to recommend a book to your fellow readers.
Reviews are not a complaint letter to the author.
(If in doubt, check the Amazon guidelines).
Happy reading, Samantha xx
I wrote these: