A Change of Heart
Roger Sutton had a particularly good posting recently about the average book reviewer's ability to change their opinion regarding a title they've loved or hated in the past. Certainly I've grown to gruffly enjoy books that might have given me the heebejeebes on a first run. Likewise a book that I may originally have been on the fence about can fall into the deepest darkest dampest pits of my soul should I be convinced to loathe it. We can always change our minds about a book. And with the flexibility inherent in online reviews, we can even make it seem as if that was our opinion right from the get go (though we would always leave a note acknowledging the change, right, m'darlings?).
Mr. Sutton's post links to a Keir Graff and the article Regrets and Reversals.
I’ve written in the past about getting it right. And, of course, there is no “right”; a book review is just one reviewer’s opinion–filtered by background, IQ, prejudice, and eccentricity. Hopefully the reviewer is well-read, intelligent, judicious, and has no cause to advance or ax to grind–or at least has the wisdom to take those into account. But still, if a review is just an opinion, it can’t be wrong if it expresses what the reviewer was thinking at the time.She is eloquent and informative. You may wish to read both her thoughts and then Roger's as well.
Thanks to Read Roger for the link.