"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E.L. Doctorow

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


So I was thinking about this yesterday and thought I would put it out there for opinions. When it comes to movies, I really don't put any stock into a critic's review. I go to a movie purely for the fascination factor - if it looks intriguing then I'll go to see it. The critics' opinions be damned.

I just find that they don't have a clue what they are talking about when it comes to the tastes of the general public.

That being said, I find the complete opposite is true when I'm talking about books. Well maybe not the complete opposite. Let me explain.

I still can't really stand the "professionals" that critic books either. The ones paid by the industry because ...well ...they are being paid. It just feels like they are backing the ones that come with the biggest paychecks.

However, if I have two books that I really want to get but can only pick one, I'll check out the jacket cover, maybe the first page or two, and then see if there are any good reviews about it on Goodreads. You see the reviews on Goodreads, I will pay attention to because they are written by normal, everyday, rabid readers. The people who read for enjoyment, not just to seem like they are intellectual elite.

Do you know what I mean?

So what do you guys think? Do you pay attention to what the critics are saying? or do you prefer to go with your gut on books?

And for the Inspiration For Your Day: Ke$ha's Blow - Purely for the randomness of the video... :D


Annie Boreson said...

I may read a review, but I don't take much stock in them. Like you, I don't think they understand what the average moviegoer wants to see and why they go to movies.

CM VIllani said...

Annie - what about the reviews of books? Do you pay any more attention to them? Or do you think they are the same as those of the movies?

Elizabeth Young said...

I go with my gut. People have completely different reactions to things and I trust my own instinct and judgement (the fact I have been wrong a thousand times is irrelevant!)Obviously if the person reviewing is someone whose opinion I completely respect, this would be the exception. Clear as mud?!

Kelly Hashway said...

I don't pay much attention to reviews. But I can see your point about Goodreads as opposed to reviewers who are paid to write the review.

Okay, that is definitely the most random video ever. All I kept thinking was Ke$ha is corrupting Dawson!

Nicole said...

Once I bought a book based solely on it having been reviewed on the back by one of my favorite authors. And it was a total stinker. So no pro reviews for me. Friend recs only!

C.M. Villani said...

Elizabeth - haha yup crystal mud. I'd agree with you though. A gut is always a good way to go.
There is something so much more aggrivating when you read a sucky book that someone suggests to you as opposed to one that you just pick out on your own whim.

Miss Good on Paper said...

I guess it depends on who the review is by. As others have said, if it is from someone whose opinion I trust or who has similar taste, a review might sway me a bit (professional or not). Though, there are some authors who I will always read even if they get bad reviews. I'm loyal that way!

I have a giveaway this week, by the way, at my other blog (The Writing Apprentice), if you're interested. =)

-Miss GOP

C.M. Villani said...

Kelly - Tell me about! I looked up the video on Youtube the other night purely out of curiosity. then I see Unicorns and James Van Der Beak and was totally at a loss for words.


C.M. Villani said...

Nicole - there was a scene from the show - Castle - where the main character (who is an author) has to review a bunch of books that his publisher gave to him. He proceeds to hold each book up to his head and spews out some random praise without actually reading the books. hahaha. I wonder though how close to reality that is though. :D

C.M. Villani said...

Miss GOP - I'm the same way. I'm a loyal reader. when I find an author I love I read whatever they come out with. Well until they give me a reason not to. :)

Totsymae said...

I go solely on what I'd like to read. As a matter of fact, I pay little or no attention to critics. I know it's a respectable profession but I don't like the idea of being swayed to where I could miss a really good book based on a small group of people who may not be able to relate to what I enjoy.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

I can't comment on this because just thinking about reviews right now makes me feel like fainting *thud*

C.M. Villani said...

Totsymae - Yeah that's what I hate about it too. I like to choose for myself.

C.M. Villani said...

Sam - hahaha. I really don't blame you on that one. Must be nerve wracking. But you haven't had anything but great reviews for your novel so hopfully that makes you smile.

I'm sure it is completely different from the author's standpoint. I was just speaking as a reader. :D

Stephsco said...

Hi! I found you on SheWrites. For books, I definitely read reviews before I read b/c a book is more consuming than catching a movie. I read amazon and goodreads reviews, plus I subscribe to a lot of blogs who regularly review books. Some catch my eye and the ones that keep getting mentioned I pay attention to.

I'm a long-time reader of Entertainment Weekly (mag and online), and usually their reviews are decent. I also love Richard Roeper. It depends on your own taste and trusting who is giving the review. On Rottentomatoes.com I'll still see something that is rated in the 30% range (the rating is based on a collective sample of critics reviews and very few films get 80% or higher). Anything in the 10-20% approval range you know is going to be a stinker.

C.M. Villani said...

Stephsco - It's interesting to hear it from the other side of the argument and I totally get that it is an investment of time to read a book. I really have to choose my time to start a book really carefully.

But do you find that you miss out on good books because they aren't brought up by reviewers or that you get saddled with a stinker after having read rave reviews of it?

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