The vast majority of my online reviews have been good ones, if some have been a tad incoherently worded. They may not have the prestige of Kirkus or PW, but they've been a nice pat on the ego.
Some review sites seem to think snarky and smugly patronizing are signs of professionalism. If this review site is one of those, probably there's not much you can say that's going to matter to them. I used to be ticked that they were closed to all but MWA approved publishers, but you're making me re-think that position, lol!
Well, she did cite examples (wrong though her interpretation was), and that's more than one usually gets from amateur reviewers.
Major congrats on the Toronto review. I love Canadian reviewers myself. A classy country!
Crime Spot Net picks and chooses from existing sites like this one and has subscribed bloggers. In our case here, you never know when they'll see something they feel like sharing with the larger community. Hence, care is probably advisable. I think you probably wanted the thread gone, I just couldn't figure out how this was done.
Well, if we're talking reviews, I got one today in the Globe and Mail in Canada by Margaret Cannon. Not much I'd want to complain about:
By John McFetridge, ECW, 304 pages, $24.95
If you're interested in learning about the backside of Toronto the Good, Swap is a great place to begin. Drugs, guns, gangs and just plain nastiness hide in the suburbs, just outside the shiny city centre. For Vernard McGetty, a Detroit homeboy in search of lucrative partnerships, Toronto's biker gangs are a perfect fit. They deliver the dope, he delivers the guns. Of course, he's a bit mystified by bikers who ignore their Harleys in order to drive SUVs, but who cares about appearances?
While Get is planning his get, Toronto detectives Price and McKeon have a pair of dead bodies on their hands. The couple are Mr. and Mrs. Clean, not so much as a traffic ticket. Someone sailed by and shot them as their car headed up a freeway ramp. Who knows what company these nice family folk may have been keeping?
McFetridge has his difficulties keeping the plot moving, and some of the dialogue owes a bit to Quentin Tarantino, but this is a slick little story.
(I guess I could have done without that last sentence, but all in all, pretty good)
And I hate to complain about it, but I guess the reason that Tarantino comparison gets to me can best be illustrated wth, "go medieval on your ass." That's a writer's line, something that's only in scripted dialogue. The character who said would never really say that, and no other line of dialogue around it is anything like it.
I work very hard on my dialogue to try and make sure nothing stands out like that.
Oh well, a review in the Globe and Mail is a big deal in Canada and I'm thrileld to get one.
I don't know, John--one of the pleasures of Pulp Fiction is its scriptedness, the sense of a writer at work behind the characters. I like that people say things you or I wouldn't necessarily think of in the moment. "Go medieval on your ass" is a great line because it's unexpected, and a lot more interesting than "I'm going to fuck you up," or whatever we might actually say following the totally improbable series of events that actually got us there in the first place. Perfect line in that context, if you ask me--that's why it's so memorable.
I was too old for Pulp Fiction when it came out and not imaginitive enough for the suspension of disbelief it required.
I can undestand what people see it in and I think I undestand why they like it, and I don't want to sound like a petulant author (ha, sorry, a joke) but like I said, I work hard so that my dialogue isn't like that.
It's funny, my first novel wasn't crime fiction, so it never got compared to Elmore Leonard or Tarantino. My crime novels never get comared to probably my biggest influence, Raymond Carver. My writing style has improved I hope) but not by much.
It doesn't bother me that these reviews are really about the content and not the style. I am trying for a kind of invisible literary style (which again, is pretty much the opposite of what Tarantino is after, constantly drawing attention to the fact that hois movies are movies, afterall).
And besides, most people think Tarantino-like is a great compliment so I'm just going to look at it like that.