Saturday, July 11, 2009

On reviews

Recently, I was looking for books on cut-paper art. In particular, I was looking at this one:



Artful Paper Dolls

Here's one of the one-star reviews:

"This was not at all what I expected and in some cases a little creepy. The idea of creating paper doll images by using different items such as photos,magazine cutouts,newspaper clips,feathers, etc. seemed like fun - but then he gets into jointed paper dolls that look more like marionettes with limbs way out of proportion, using exotic bird heads on top of female bodies, sad and angry childrens photo faces on magazine bodies and finally let's not forget the skeletons 'dressed up' in clothes and the 'ever so mirthful' shrine dolls. Some of the book is good and I'm sure the artists showcased are well respected in their fields.. but I'm involved with this type of collage art to create 'happy' or 'contemplative'designs - not stuff that makes me wince when I see it."

Fantastic, I thought. Just what I'm looking for. Because the last thing I'm interested in is 'happy' art.

So there we have an example of a one star review selling a book. You can never tell when a terrible review will actually end up working in your favour ...

9 comments:

Craig Sorensen said...

You know, that has happened to me before, where someone's lambasting review did as much to sell me on a movie or book as much as a good one did.

Verification word: peried

Seems they thrust, and you peried.

Nikki Magennis said...

It's funny, when you're on the wrong end of a bad review you feel like the reviewer has been invested with supernatural powers and that they're somehow transformed into every bully in every horrible situation you've ever encountered just to *vanquish* you.

(I suppose that might just be me).

Anyway, when you're on the outside, reading reviews, the view is totally different. Somehow it's more about an individual discussing a *thing*. Rather than anyone vanquishing anyone else. And the reader learns as much about the reviewer as they do about the *thing/book/whatever*.

Jeremy Edwards said...

Yeah, when I browse reviews while trying to decide whether to order a book or not, what I'm doing is wading through all the opinion to find information. Often the official product description only goes so far, and the reviews will reveal more about the nature of the work. Then I can make a better guess as to whether it will be my kind of read.

Danielle de Santiago said...

happy art..schm├Ąppy art..i dont give a f*...about happy...the review sounds awsome--as if the book is something i d enjoy...

i have the same opinion about happy art as about art without a message..its not art but decoration..

Janine Ashbless said...

Well I've certainly sold at least one book directly off the back of the Most Hostile Review of All Time.

I'm still hoping her head falls off though.

Danielle de Santiago said...

lovely wishes miss ashbless :-)

Janine Ashbless said...

Thanks Danielle! :-)

Nikki Magennis said...

I don't suppose it helps to tell you that the reviewer's head seemed to have already fallen off before she wrote the review, Janine? Some clubs you really woudn't *want* to be a member of.

Danielle de Santiago said...

damned nikki...you made me laugh..thanx..:-)

i imagine the reviewer now as a chicken running around headless after..uhm*...dunno the words in english..after you did what you have to do with a chicken..think kitchen think knife think disney..