I read way more book reviews than books. In fact, I mostly prefer to read reviews rather than the actual book. Also, I like to review the review, and if I so much as see the following phrases in a book review, I will either close my browser or fling the paper I found on the BART seat back onto the seat where I found it.
“This is a cautionary tale.”
“This is a tale of star-crossed lovers.”
Sometimes, I forget if I’ve read a review or the book, but the chances are I’ve only read the review, and I’ve reviewed the review in my mind to the point I’ve let it influence my opinion of the book. Somehow the review has become the book. The review is the everything, and if I see these words in a review I will groan loudly and declare the book trash (even though I am only reading the review).
“chiller” (someone started this disturbing misuse of the word “thriller”)
Everything in a book is a pipe dream or shape shifting. It’s a book for pete’s sake!
And finally there is this…a bad review published by The New York Times and then, another editor at the times starts communicating with a character in the book? Confused? Sure. Because they are essentially doing the same thing I am, except the editor is taking it one step further and asking the character “Did you get hit on the head?” The bad review isn’t making the book now, the character is.