Reviews and reports on books, holidays, restaurants, hotels etc.

Now, don’t be nasty.  Don’t be rude.

I am frequently asked to comment, or even to write entire items, about reviews and reports, whether they are book reviews, holiday reports, opinions about merchandise or restaurants or hotels……….

…………and it never ceases to amaze me how people think they can be rude.

Here is a review on a book I have been sent:-

This book is very disappointing, very boring, I cannot imagine anybody wanting to buy it and I would not recommend it.  It takes ages to get going and there are a lot of clod-hopping descriptions of people and places.

Now, what was the writer of this review wanting to achieve ?  Did she (it was a woman – most are written by women) hope to destroy the author’s career ?  No ?  Well, she seems to be doing all she can to do so!  Did she feel that she ought to warn the public in general because this book was so bad ?  If yes, what was the warning about precisely ?  Was she afraid the public would somehow be harmed ?

I can hear her reply “but I am entitled to my opinion!”  Well, yes, Madam, you are, but not at the cost of (potentially) somebody’s career.  And there is no need to be so rude …

Really, this was just an example of somebody loving the sound of her own voice.  If she badly (for whatever reason) wanted to say what she thought of the book, this is what she could and should have written:-

This book was not for me.  I found I couldn’t get in to the story because, for me, it was slow to get going and there were too many descriptions.

Here is another from a restaurant:-

I didn’t like this place at all.  The service was slow (the waiter made excuses about being short-staffed!) and when the food arrived it was tepid and not very good.  It was cheap enough – and now I see why !

This is what he could and should have written:-

The evening we were there they were apparently short-staffed and, as a result, service was slow. The food itself was not to my tastes but on the other hand it was inexpensive.

The general public does not realize how upsetting a bad review can be, and the owner/writer/whoever has invariably worked very hard, often for many years.  It stands to reason that the owner/writer/whatever wants to please – otherwise they wouldn’t be in the business – so, if you absolutely must write something, think it out, do not be nasty, do not be rude and ( best of all) if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.

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Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist.  She is widely travelled and writes regularly for magazines and blog sites.  Her sketches are on her web site .  Her books are available from Amazon and on Kindle, or can be ordered from several leading book stores.

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Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist.  Her books are available as e-books on this site:-            “A Call from France”          “French Sand”         ”The Man with Green Fingers”        “Saying Nothing”

They are also available on Amazon & Kindle, or can be ordered as paperbacks from most leading book stores and libraries.

Posted on 30/10/2012 by Catherine
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