Tag Archives: bad reviews

Separating Negative Reviews from Personal Attacks

Barbara Vey -- February 13th, 2013

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I am struck by the amount of begging for reviews I see online.  The consensus is that the more a book is reviewed, the better chance it has to sell more copies.  Authors feel that good, bad or otherwise, a review will somehow make their book more legitimate.

While I agree that reviews can be helpful, authors need to have really thick skin about it.  Giving readers carte blanche can be asking for trouble.  With no boundaries, reader reviewers often cross the line and move from reviewing the book to reviewing the person who wrote the book.  Too often I see little about why the reader didn’t like the book and more about what an idiot the writer was in writing the book in the first place.  It especially galls me when the reviewer admits that they haven’t yet read the book.  How on earth can you say anything intelligent about it if you haven’t even read it?

Melissa McCarthy

Books aren’t the only things that garner personal attack reviews.  I’ve been following the story of reviewer Rex Reed going after actress Melissa McCarthy because of her weight while reviewer her new movie, Identity Theft.  He said she is “tractor-sized,” “a humongous creep” and a “female hippo.”  Please explain to me what that has to do with the movie.  In a world of stick thin models and actresses, I find watching women of different sizes refreshing.  Rex Reed has been around a long time and should know better.

Melissa McCarthy received an Oscar nomination for Bridesmaids (which I saw 5 times, mostly because of her).  She stars in the tv show Mike and Molly that says it’s ok for overweight people to fall in love.  A part for which she won an Emmy.  I’d say there’s a little talent there.

I don’t remember reading about Robbie Coltrane’s weight as Hagrid in Harry Potter being an issue or John Goodman or George Wendt.   At least authors don’t have to worry about their weight being a reason for their bad book review (not that I’ve heard of…yet).

Melissa McCarthy hasn’t come out and commented on this and I give her a lot of credit for it, but her staunch supporters have.  It’s the same for authors.  Do not engage.  It seems to me that some reviewers are spoiling for a fight.  A yelling match doesn’t help anyone.

And, like books, sometimes bad publicity works.  Identity Theft is number one at the box office this week and isn’t that the sweetest revenge of all?

Bottom Line:  I plan to see Identity Theft because I like Melissa McCarthy, just like I read certain books because I like the author.