Friday, 9 May 2008

Bad Reviews

It's oh so easy to blog about the nice reviews I have had for Words from a Glass Bubble. But this is meant to be an honest blog, recording downs as well as ups for any writers who want to know what it is really like, this game. So here goes.

A reviewer disliked the book so much that the publication concerned declined to print the review.

That was, I have to confess, a bit of a shock. I've always thought I'd rather my work was seriously loved or seriously loathed... not ever EVER just 'liked'. And now that's been tested big time!

I am lucky. I had some generous feedback very fast, and will be eternally grateful that it was this way round.

But I am left wanting to know more... all the pieces bar a couple have done well in literary competitions. And yet...

I'm in a bit of a spin. Was it the aggregate that the reviewer disliked so much? Was it the tone, the mix of light and dark in each story, mixing laughter and tears? Was it the somewhat irreverent but important references to religious image? Did that offend? Did they read the titles, and see a story was called 'Fuck Magnolia', and put the book down thinking the story is about fucking? Did they assume a book of short stories would be light entertainment?

I will never know.


SueG said...

What???!!!! Oh man!!!! I can't believe that. Of course, we know we should ignore the whole thing, write it off as just one wayward bloke. But I agree it would be nice to know what he was going on about. But no. Forget it. your work is so wonderful, and so very many people have said so, that you do know in your heart it's good. ( But still...jeez....)

Vanessa G said...

No, I respect that someone reacted adversely.

In a way, I'm half-happy (like the stories) to provoke a strong reaction.

We have to toughen up.

I've had feedback at reading groups saying, 'this is dark, isnt it. Why don't you do happier stories?" and then there'll be an argument... some people find them uplifting, funny/sad, like life is.

Others don't see the uplifting parts, just the sadnesses. I can't help that. The rest is there, I know cos I put it there!

I wont forget it, though. Rejection is always hard, and its an important thing to get used to. So I'm grateful for the lesson, in a funny sort of way!

And blesser, I love my little book!