How to Write a Good Review

1. Introduction: The Problem

I take what I do seriously. When I sit down to write reviews and longer critical pieces, I am not filling in the time before dinner, I am doing something that I am emotionally invested in.  I am emotionally invested in becoming the best critic that I can possibly be, this is why I write and this is why I read books that add fresh elements to my theoretical arsenal. However, while I think that (all things considered) I am not doing too badly, I am very much aware that I am not yet Roland Barthes, David Bordwell, Nick Lowe or Adam Roberts.  In fact, I am not even Kim Newman or Armond White.  I know this because I know that these people write with a level of control and insight that I do not yet possess.  I also know this because I have yet to be invited to write a column for the New York Times… or even the Kensington and Chelsea Times for that matter.  But while I know that I am not yet quite there, I think that I could probably do a bit more cool stuff than I am currently doing. The problem is that every time that I produce something that I am particularly proud of, a hubris alert goes off in my head because I know that it is the easiest thing in the world to think that you’re brilliant when you are in fact shit.  In fact, there are studies that prove it.

 

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