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Tuesday, May 3, 2011
THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF OUR REVIEWERS: CLEMATIS
Like the aromas of a premium wine that tantalizes the senses, my tastes have refined themselves over the years. I’ve become more discerning. Now when I pick up a book, I not only wish to be entertained, but hope that it will captivate my interest, not just to linger, but to sustain until the final chapters.
To review an author’s work is a marvelous gift. To do so impartially and without reserve is imperative. To wax lackadaisical would be an insult. And so, it is with deliberation that I choose to open and begin that adventure, with due care, excitement and appreciation of the trust given.
Sometimes its immediate appeal, or lack thereof, can wane before I’ve finished the first few chapters, yet if there is still interest, it becomes a challenge to try and figure out why. Not to dissimilate or deconstruct with prejudice, but in an effort to analyze why a possible change may be helpful and why I think it may be an improvement. Each of us, as reviewers, are different. We come from different backgrounds, different cultures and will have differing opinions on personal preferences. What appeals to one may not necessarily appeal to another, so we use the database at The Long and the Short of It to examine the blurbs and refine our choices according to individual taste.
If a story ignites my interest and I love it, you’ll know why because I’ll enjoy sharing the reasons. If I find that due to my own personal prejudices, I cannot be objective, then there is always the option for a reviewer to pass on a story, where it’s returned to the database and another reviewer may choose it and find it appealing. If it’s just plain awful, it’s up to me to let the team at The Long and the Short of It know and their prerogative as to what actions, if any are taken.
I’m nobody special. I don’t have a degree in literature and you probably passed me a million times as I sat absorbed in a book at the local library or bookstore. I’m just a housewife stealing an hour or two in a passionate romance. I’m a child with a torch, hiding under the covers at night and terrifying myself senseless with fantastical beasts and mythical lands. I’m just a man lost within the pages of a grand spy novel, complete with bikini clad ‘hotties’ and a handsome hero who will, no doubt, save the day. I'm everyone and no one in particular, but I share a passion for the written word.
I’m not a writer, but probably a ‘wannabe’ and so I take even more care to be objective in my reviews. I think writers are blessed with a gift akin to turning straw into gold. This only makes them more amazing to me!
I have no idea what it is that makes a story magic or elevates one author’s work above anothers. But I feel it when it happens! I recognize the beauty of it when it ‘all comes together’ and I can melt into it, just let go completely and enjoy the ride. All I can tell you is that I’ll be fair and that it’s always a privilege.