“. . . all critics are equal, but some critics are more equal than others. I confess that I put more stock in the opinion of the novelist who questions whether an ending in one of my books is fully earned in a Washington Post or New York Times review than I do in ‘Bic Parker’ at Amazon, who wrote about one of my novels, 'Stoopid.' ”He says he appreciates “the way that the Web has made possible an intimacy with the public that didn't exist 15 years ago,” but he certainly doesn't demonstrate it. And he also claims to believe that “there are plenty of critics – and I am not using that term facetiously, I promise – who understand a book in precisely the fashion I intended” and that “a lot of people who are far smarter than I have said things about my books – both good and bad – that left me humbled.”
Well, I can understand that his ego might have been injured. But you’d think he might have shown his appreciation by including at least a few examples of the more thoughtful reviews from some of the many book bloggers out here in the blogosphere. We, after all, are the ones actually buying those books – accounting for those sales he’s so interested in.
I’ve never read any of Mr. Bohjalian’s works, but I can’t say this piece makes me terribly eager to sample them. And the most annoying part of the essay is that it’s occupying the spot regularly filled by one of my favorite critics, Michael Dirda.