Not That I Really Care…

Not that I really care, but I was buying a copy of my recent Beach Boys book for a friend when I spotted the sole customer review: “Not an informative write. Just personal opinions of the author. A more subjective review of the fairy tale would have been more interesting.”

Of course, I’m glad someone bought the book. I’m also happy with the three-star rating the reviewer gave it. Nonetheless, I’m having trouble reconciling a) the critique that the book consists only of the “personal opinions of the author” with b) the reviewer’s opinion that a “more subjective review” would have been “more interesting.” So the problem is that the book is both too subjective and not subjective enough? That there’s too much opinion and not enough opinion?

It’s also worth noting that although I do voice opinions and offer analysis throughout the book, I also include loads of facts — names, dates, quotes, historical context, and geographical details chief among them. So to describe it as an “uninformative write” (whatever that means) and nothing more than “personal opinions of the author,” I would argue, is inaccurate.

Again, not that I really care.

7 thoughts on “Not That I Really Care…

    • Which is why I love your blog — you DO know what you’re talking about! First you listen with an open mind and then you tell the rest of us about the great new music you’ve discovered. It’s what I’ve always tried to do with small press books on my Small Press Reviews blog.

      • Thanks Marc! I appreciate your kind words. I’ll admit that I don’t care for some of the music I review at first, but most of it does grow on me after a couple of listens with an open ear and mind. The most frequent problem is weak vocals, and in those cases I try and emphasize the positive things about the music, such as great lyrics, guitar riffs, or whatever.

      • Getting a good vocal take down is so hard! And I’d rather listen to an inventive song with a less-than-stellar vocal track than cookie-cutter pop with a perfectly (auto) tuned vocal.

  1. Some people’s kids.

    I do have your book (thank you for it, Marc!) and I am reading it. I have never been a fan of the Beach Boys, yet I find your book fascinating! I love backstories, and this gives all kinds of factual information…as you say—names, dates, specifics. It’s well-written and well-researched!

    I have some negative reviews on one of my novels. You just can’t please everybody, and it lends texture. It also speaks volumes (pardon the pun) about those who write such things. The intelligent/discerning reader can easily glisten much from reading such negativity, especially when the bulk of comments are favorable (and there is a difference between a “negatively” written comment and one that simply comments on flaws or dislikes…). And sometimes…well, you just CANNOT please everyone.

    As a really cool writer used to say: “And so it goes….”

    Write ON, Marc!

    • Thanks, Frank! Good point about not pleasing everybody… And also that the quality of the review itself speaks volumes for the reviewer. That’s why I ultimately decided not to respond to the review — though I was briefly tempted to do so! Kurt Vonnegut’s adage is, indeed, the best thing to keep in mind.

      • Yes, NEVER (I know…that’s a lot of a word…) respond to negative reviews! Go around the rocks, I always say. At best, simply thank them for their opinions and move on. I do plan on posting a review of your book when I finish. You’ve done a great job and it reads *extremely* well–it has quite the authoritative, scholarly feel to it!

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