Hated the book, love the author.

Ranty Runt's Rants

Something devastating has just happened. I’d been waiting for a new book by one of my favourite authors, a long awaited follow up to a favourite novel. Once I had it in my hot little hands I cracked it open and started reading with glee.

Only to find I didn’t like it. The story was boring and then things got even worse. This author started to offend me. Casual racism and sexism. Rape culture being endorsed. I was positively seething. This wasn’t what I expected from one of my favourite authors. I started to hope that this was written by a ghost writer, and I couldn’t believe that I hoped that one of my favourite authors hadn’t written his book. I’d spent my hard earned on this, and it wasn’t worth it.

On top of the fact that I was offended to my very core, the characters were flat and one dimensional, the plot was badly constructed and boring. The novel read like a first draft. I knew that the author wrote a series of independently books that dealt with harder (as in violent) subject matter, but this book was a follow-up to one of his traditionally published novels. It was a follow up to a thriller that wasn’t overly sadistic. Violence is one thing, but torture and sadism for the sake of a thrill is a whole different ballgame.

I want to review this book. Usually I would have no problem giving a negative book review, I’ve done a few. But I’ve never ripped a book to shreds that was penned by one of my favourite authors. I’ve raved and recommended this author to lots of people on the internet and in real life, and I don’t feel right giving an honest review of this book when I’m such an advocate for this author. He re-blogs my reviews, comments on them and such. It just seems awkward. I’m not going to share the author’s name, but I’m sure if you’re interested you can wait for my review that corresponds with this discussion post.

I’m going to review the book. I’ve written some of my ideas, but it’s brutally honest. I was wondering how other bloggers deal with this conundrum when reviewing a favourite author. Do you still post detailed reviews of books that you’ve hated, even by a favourite author? Do you keep things short and sweet? Or do you just skip reviewing that title? Is there etiquette here? Has posting a negative review ever backfired on you? I want advice, my book blogging friends. Help me please.

Other installments in Ranty Runt’s Rants:

The worst time to love a reader
My personal war on romance
Breaking a blogging slump
Hated the book, love the author

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7 comments

  1. Yes, I do give negative reviews even to authors I love, though it’s hard to do. I try really hard not to have any contact with authors, especially my favourites, because then it’s even harder. So I don’t follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads etc – and if they tweet me or contact me in any way, I thank them but don’t follow up the conversation. I always say in my review that I love the author’s other books and link to my reviews of them.

    Also, can I just say, I respect reviews from reviewers who give the odd negative more than those from reviewers who rave about every single book they read. We all love reading or we wouldn’t blog, but when we’re told every book is the “best ever”, then it doesn’t really tell us anything… 🙂

    1. Interesting that you don’t follow your favs on Twitter, Facebook ect… I love following authors, and this is the first time I’ve regretted it. But I’m now seeing your point. I’m definetly going to say I loved his previous books and link to some old reviews. I agree with you 100% about respecting reviewers who give the occasional negative review, it gives credibility. And there’s no way I would lie about if I liked/disliked a book. Thanks for stopping by and helping me out. You just provided me with some strength to actually publish this review. 🙂

  2. Oh dang, what a disappointment. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this. I personally like reading negative reviews & don’t mind writing them either, doing so for an author that you usually enjoy must be a bit wrenching. I don’t think that there is any real etiquette rule here — though it would obviously be kinder to the author himself if you didn’t tag him on Facebook or @ him on Twitter about it.

    1. It was really disappointing, but I’m just glad that I have all the rest of his back catalog to enjoy. I love reading negative reviews, and have written one or two (I once said that the only redeeming feature of a certain novel was that it was short), but for a author I normally love is pretty hard! I certainly won’t be @’ing him on twitter, that would be harsh! Thanks for the advice.

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