aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

I thought Booklist was supposed to write only NICE reviews

That's the word on the street anyway, and once I heard it I started discounting all the nice reviews they have given me over the years. Then I saw this review for The Year Your Write Your Novel, a new book by Walter Mosley [Full disclosure: seven or more books in, I'm still a sucker for how-to books]:

It would be nice to report that the veteran novelist packs a lot of useful information into this slim writer's guide. Unfortunately, there is little here that isn't common sense (write every day), or tips most would-be writers will have already read in somebody else's book (the difference between merely telling the reader something and showing him). Mosley, author of the Easy Rawlins mysteries and several fine stand-alones, sets out to show us how we can write a novel in a year, but instead of insight into the mind of a master storyteller, we are given facile advice ("don't stop writing for any reason") and grade-school English lessons (the difference, for example, between metaphor and simile). While the book is gracefully written, it is almost entirely lacking in any concrete, fresh advice that isn't available in countless other places. One leaves the book wondering why Mosley wrote it if he didn't have anything new to say. A real disappointment, which is not to say that the Mosley name won't generate a certain amount of demand. Buy cautiously. David Pitt

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Tags: tell us how you really feel
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