The Extra Cool Group! (of people Michael is experimenting on) discussion

Pertaining to the project > Has a single review ever caused you to dramatically change your opinion about a book or issue?

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message 1: by Bill (new)

Bill (kernos) | 41 comments I don't think so, but more likely with non-fiction. EG, if another expert points out deficiencies in arguments, or the use of bad or questionable data.

But reviews often show me what I have overlooked, didnt get or can make me thing about something from another point of view. This is more true of fiction.

message 2: by Michael, Sonic the Hegemon (new)

Michael | 183 comments Mod
Usually, positive reviews of books I didn't like don't do much to change my opinions of the book. For instance, I've read some glowing reviews of Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, but I just assume these readers don't expect as much from characters as I do.

But, negative reviews of books I liked can sometimes make me see things I didn't see Keely's version of The Road. I guess Keely is a pretty big downer, eh? But, even in this case, this didn't change my actual rating, because I still thoroughly enjoyed the book, and I thought it was successful in most of the ways he thought it failed.

So, umm, just a little bit, especially when people are harder on books than I was.

Laura the Highland Hussy (Highlandhussy) | 6 comments Once. I read a book I hated...I thought it was stupid and the humor was lame.
A gr buddy of mine wrote a glowing review about the humor and even quoted some lines that I caught myself chuckling at. So I asked her what she liked about it and I re-read the book with the mindframe that it's a silly humor, rather than a serious book with dumb misunderstandings...the misunderstanding was mine, it would seem, as I liked it better with a fresh perspective.

message 4: by J.G. Keely (new)

J.G. Keely (Keely) | 25 comments "I guess Keely is a pretty big downer, eh?"

Hey! I have positive reviews, too! Really, I do! It's not my fault if people like to concentrate on the negative.

I always really hope to come across a review that will completely turn me around and change my mind about a book, especially books I didn't like. I always feel like I must be missing something, like with The Road or Gene Wolfe's stuff, because there are some cool, seemingly intelligent people who love them.

I usually try to read through positive reviews and literary analyses of the works to understand what the hell I'm missing, but I don't usually have much luck. It doesn't help that most of the disagreement comes from people who don't seem to think that opinions can be explained.

message 5: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca (ScribbleOrca) | 123 comments Keely, just get used to it. You're the resident misanthrope.

May as well be (in)famous for that, as anything else. :D

message 6: by J.G. Keely (new)

J.G. Keely (Keely) | 25 comments Oh, misanthropic, certainly, but not mislibric. I'd hate for you all to think that I nurture a disdain for books equal to the high disdain in which I hold my fellow man.

message 7: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca (ScribbleOrca) | 123 comments And sexist, to boot.

message 8: by Joyzi (new)

Joyzi (jOiT) | 20 comments Yeah it does happen, I think everyone here have different opinions about the book and sometimes if they are really good at reviewing the book they can change my mind on how I view the book

message 9: by Mariel (new)

Mariel (fuchsiagroan) I'm more easily persuaded if I read the book a long time ago. I question my own sanity or memory of events.

message 10: by Pamela(AllHoney) (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) Maybe not a "single" review but I may be influenced by several reviews. They may address certain issues that I didn't think of but only slightly because I base my reviews on entertainment value. I will often ignore inconsistancies or editing unless it is pointed out to me.

message 11: by C. (new)

C. (placematsgalore) Like Mariel, I often question my memory of a book I read a long time ago based on what someone wrote in a review. Reviews have often made me reinterpret a particular aspect of a book, but so far not the entire book, that I can think of. I can imagine that it could happen, though. One day.

message 12: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 133 comments All those glowing reviews of 2666 by smart GR reviewers make me think 'what did I miss?' Not that I hated the book, but it wasn't anything special for me, the way it is for others. Other people's opinion doesn't sway me, but it can make me want to re-read or re-consider a book, to give it another chance.

message 13: by carriedaway (new)

carriedaway | 8 comments Yes, because I'm easily swayed by an unfavorable well written review.

Oddly enough, well written favorable reviews have no effect on me. Either I agree with them and admire their perspicacity, disagree with them but concede their right to their views or I assume they're shilling for the author/publisher/friend/self.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) I think it's interesting to see different perspectives. If I feel strongly about a book, an opposite review won't sway me, but it will give me something to think about and a basis for understanding why someone else would feel differently than I did.

Kelly H. (Maybedog) (Maybedog) Although I am not easily swayed by propaganda, if a review looks at the book (or issue) in a way I hadn't thought of before, sure. I like to think I have an open mind. I am not so firmly stuck to my own opinions that I cannot be influenced to reconsider. Sometimes it's hard to give up an opinion if it's a dearly held one but I like to think I do it when it's appropriate.

Especially if the review brings up new factual information. For example, I just found out yesterday from a reviewer that Marion Zimmer Bradley aided and abetted her husband in molesting boys. I spent five hours online verifying the information from multiple sources. Several of her novels that have relationships between younger and older people, including one about a man and a boy in love, that previously seemed sweet now take on a much more sinister meaning. I now am repulsed by these books.

message 16: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 199 comments I don't think I actually will change my mind about a book because I read a review. But I do very much believe that reading is a personal experience. And for me the experience of the book is generally how I feel while reading it, so while musing and critique is interesting it doesn't change the reading experience for me.

For example, I had a generally unpleasant experience reading infinite jest, but I have read a lot of really positive reviews. I usually agree with most of the positive reviews and I know some people at least agree the things I say are also true about the books. Generally I think it comes down to a recognition that different things are important to different people in books. So if anything reading someone else's review helps me understand myself better as a reader. I mean I get now that character continuity is really really important to me (and that when I say this it probably means something different then it does to other people).

Then I use this kind of information when I recommend books to my friends.

Kelly H. (Maybedog) (Maybedog) Jasmine wrote: "For example, I had a generally unpleasant experience reading infinite jest, but I have read a lot of really positive reviews. ..."

I, too, hated that book. Other good reviews made me go back and try again but I still hated it and just couldn't finish it.

message 18: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 199 comments i finished it. I'm proud of that

message 19: by Annalisa (new)

Annalisa (goodreadsannalisa) Kelly wrote: "If a review looks at the book (or issue) in a way I hadn't thought of before, sure. I like to think I have an open mind. I am not so firmly stuck to my own opinions that I cannot be influenced to reconsider."


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