Thursday, October 25, 2007

Future imperfect ...

... Internet offers book reviewers a new chapter. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Heretic that I am, I think that online book reviewing will have to be more than a duplicate of print reviewing.


  1. Now that I've started writing and posting the original book or music review again, I agree, Frank: it has to be more than a duplicate of print reviewing.

    I wonder if the solution is in the "value-added" category, for example: posting a much longer review online, with samples and/or images, that limited page space often prohibits. Or if it needs to be more fully a multi-media review. I note that what Terry Teachout has been doing, is branching into video essays, as well.

    It's worth thinking about.

  2. The Internet is a different form than newspapers, Art, so the concept of a "book review" can be reconsidered.

    The availability of space allows you to lash on and on about the book. The absence of an editor allows you to write the review in the form that suits you.

    You can even post several reviews in a row, inviting the reader to look over your shoulder as you're plowing through the text.

    Finally, there's plenty of room for linkages: to other reviews, to interviews with the author, and to return to the review later, to discuss points you think were missed.

    And like Art says, the ability to add a brief snippet of music is a wonderful way to illuminate a point. I remember Slate doing that with an article on the Ramones, splicing in a clip of a guitar solo that consisted of one note, repeated.