The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon The Lost City of Z discussion

Goodreads Pet Peeve

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message 1: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy To everyone who writes reviews of books on Goodreads -

Please do not spend the first paragraph of your review summarizing the book. Goodreads provides of description of each and every book on its site. I enjoy reading the reviews because I like to hear what people liked and didn't like about a book, but it gets very tedious to read 10 summaries of the same book.

Danielle Parker Then ahem, skip to the next paragraph. I write reviews for a zine, where the book description isn't available, and re-post my reviews on my Goodreads page. Others may do something similar. And not all of us summarize a book the same way as Goodreads.

message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy I'm sure a lot of people are re-posting their reviews from other sites. I was talking about people who write 5 to 10 paragraph reviews that are entirely summaries.

Judy I understand perfectly what you are saying, Amy. I never used to summarize a book but jump into what I wanted to say about it. However, I've started doing a one paragraph summary because it lets my friends who read my reviews on my updates know what the book is about. Otherwise, its just like babbling about an unknown topic. But yes, I know what you are talking about -- it is annoying to want to find out something about a book and read review after review stating the same basic things.

Richard i always figure a review can be done in one or two sentences - anything more seems like waffle to me - so

Lost City if Z - cracking stuff, fascinating, fun and compelling. Loved it

Judy @Sandyboy -- love your review!

Danielle Parker Lost City of Z was one of the books I recently reviewed--and yes, I loved it, too. The "moral justice" was especially enjoyable, since we so rarely see that in real life (and this was real life)!

Erik Larson I love short Reviews. I really don't feel like reading a short essay on a book. I just skip those. I try to read a couple of good reviews that like the book and a sentance or two why, and a review of someone who didn't like the book with a sentance or two why. Long reviews are for people with nothing to do and like to jabber alot :P

Danielle Parker You've grown up in the Twitter generation, Erik.

Sharon I read reviews expecting for the reviewer to tell me why I might like the book. It seems that some of the reviewers on Goodreads have a need to prove that they read it by retelling the story. Not needed.

message 11: by Erik (last edited Feb 23, 2013 11:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erik Larson Danielle wrote: "You've grown up in the Twitter generation, Erik."

bah, I've never even opened a twitter...I don't care what company a person writes reviews for. if its LONG and has WAY to much info its skipped. i want a short summary of what was and wasn't liked in the book. If i like what you've read, then i'll go read more on the book. If you like to write LONG drawn out reviews...write your own book... :)

Sharon My generation was long before Twitter but I agree with Erik.

message 13: by Kathi (new) - added it

Kathi This thread really hits right in my wheel house...I DO NOT want a grade school review that tells me the entire book...I want a review----what you liked or did not like about the book...a short summary of plot is OK. I have almost stopped reading the reviews at all....and no, I am not a Tweeter....

Danielle Parker Well, luckily, Goodreads has reviews of all kinds, short, long, whatever, and you can read what you like and skip the long-winded. This is still the only social media platform I actually enjoy.

message 15: by Abe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Abe Something TO THE OP:

Stop and consider someone other than yourself.

Some folks use Goodreads to keep track of what they've read, and in doing so like to make a summary that captures the novels key points/themes for future reference. The question of "Did you read that? What did you think of it?" is easily answered with a quick look over your own review. Sometimes you cannot remember. Sometimes you're discussing a book you read decades ago.

Truly, though, if you can tell from the first sentence that you won't like what you're going to get - skip to the next review. There's too much negative energy on the internet and you're only contributing to it by complaining about the habits of others without providing a solution. You must know that complaining in such a narrow space (the discussion thread for one specific book) isn't going to lead to sweeping changes in the habits of Goodreads massive user base...

If you don't like it, move along.

Danielle Parker "If you don't like it, move along."

Listen to the man. He's right.

And yeah,I write longer reviews, which as a reviewer for a zine, is expected of me. And I don't care one bit if someone doesn't like the style. Others do.

Different strokes for different folks. Whatever you like is fine, so long as you extend others the same courtesy.

message 17: by Kathi (new) - added it

Kathi Good point..thanks..

Karen I tend to skip the really long reviews of a book unless I have no idea what the book is about and need a little synopsis - even then I usually just skim the review. On the other spectrum, some reviews are too short. However you want to review is up to you. Plenty of options lends to plenty of ways to learn about and decide if you want to read something. Viva a difference.

Sharon To find out what the book is about I use the description provided. That tells me if it may appeal to me. As for reviews by other readers I mainly look at the stars. That tells me if they hated, liked or loved the book. I can take it from there.

Licha Sometimes I'm glad for the summary reviews because the synopsis may not have enough of a description to go by. But some reviews do feel like someone was writing an essay for class. Everyone is entitled to review however they like. For the people who have a problem with certain reviews, then just skip the ones that start to summarize the book. What's so hard about that?

Bruce Younggreen My writing mentor taught me to start my [any, I suppose] novel by writing a one sentence summary. To keep in practice, that is what I typically do when reviewing a book as well. I also end the summary with a carriage return, a string of hyphens, and another carriage return before starting my review.

message 22: by Kenneth (last edited Jan 15, 2015 09:52PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kenneth Reimer I was confused: The Lost City of Z? Where are all the zombies? I read a really short review that said this was a great book, and to me a great book has zombies. So, where the heck are the zombies?

Sorry, couldn't resist. This is, however, a fantastic book. No zombies, but the blend of mystery and adventure in a real-life setting is quite compelling. It was especially satisfying that the quest reaches clear conclusion, something not always possible in a non-fiction text.

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