Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spoilers? Love 'em or hate 'em?

I've already blogged about reviewers who take cheap shots at some of the books they review, simply because the book doesn't meet their expectations, but one thing I forgot to address is those who give away the entire ending of a book and think it's okay to do that as long as they put ***spoiler*** in the title or body of their review.

Honestly?  I would never reveal the ending of a book regardless of how I felt about the content.  If I'm disappointed, I generally look for the positives in the book to comment about, and I might even stress that the book wasn't my cup of tea, but I certainly wouldn't divulge the entire plot and lessen the chance that someone else might be tempted to purchase the book and form their own opinion.  I find I rarely agree with those who leave their "snarky" comments and show little or no regard for the hard work I know each author pours into a book.  Certainly, I never read a book with expectations that the author is going to write a story that fits into the neat little box I've created in my mind.  AND...The old saying, "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free," doesn't only apply to sex!

I read a joke yesterday that really applies to these severe critics.  Even though I've heard different versions, I laughed at the punchline because I could imagine saying this to someone who has never written a book, doesn't know the first thing about writing one, and doesn't take into consideration the time, effort, caring, and hard work that goes into pouring your heart into page after page. I've read lots of books I didn't especially enjoy, but their was a value to each and no reward to me for publicly berating the author.

A woman was seated next to a young girl on an airplane and she turned to her. "Do you want  to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your  fellow passenger."

 The girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the  total stranger, "What would you want to talk  about?"

 "Oh, I don't know," said the woman, her gaze resting on the novel. "How about why some authors think they can write and clearly can't, how they come up with their stupid plots and endings, or why some of the worst I've ever read make the best selling list?" She smiled smugly.

 "OK," the young girl said. "Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff - grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?"

 The woman, visibly confused by the girl's question, thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."

 The girl raises her brow and says,  "Do you really feel qualified to discuss authors and their work when you don't  know shit?"

And then she went back to reading her book.

I can't think of a better place to end.  *smile*


Joan Hall Hovey said...

I don't think those reviews that give away the inner workings of the plot line should be permitted in reviews at all. And certainly the ending should never be revealed. It's very unfair. Good writeup, Ginger, as always.

Roseanne Dowell said...

Perfect ending to a perfect post. You hit the nail on the head, Ginger, some people shouldn't be allowed to review. I get angry when people reveal too much of my book - things I want the reader to be surprised about, but the ending, well that just shouldn't be allowed. I had a reviewer who didn't even read my book because my blurb had punctuation errors in it. Never knew a reviewer to base a book on the blurb. But it takes all kinds. I try to ignore them, but sometimes it's difficult.

Lyn Horner said...

Ginger, that little story is a hoot! And perfect for making your point. I totally agree, reviewers who include a spoiler have no clue about what it takes to write a book. Nor do they know the meaning of common courtesy. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Some people don't think before they leave a review. Either that or they just do not care. A little of both I think.
My take is "Those who can do. Those who can't whine."
Great post, hon.

Gail Roughton said...

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! Love it! And yes. Those who can do. Those who can't whine.

Anita Davison said...

Reviewing is hard, and I too refuse to trash an author or a book, that isn't playing fair as we all get different things from books at various times of our lives. I found 'Persuasion' boring at 18, but at 25 I loved the character of Anne Elliot and it's now one of my favourites.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Ginger,
You are so right, "spoilers" are the pits. I really think they do it on purpose out of spite, vengence, jealousy whatever.
Love "You don't know shit." I'd love to be able to use that phrase to some of our detractors, but I guess Amazon would crucify me if I did.



Rita Karnopp said...

I absoulutely hate the 'spoiler' ... and found this blog to be immensely entertaining and well-written! Bravo, Ginger... I'm still chuckling! The same goes for the 'movie' spoiler . . . or the football score spoiler! Let me enjoy the excitement of finding out for myself . . . isn't that why I'm reading/watching or exposing mysself to the experience? Super article, Ging!

Terri Bruce said...

LOL, sorry, guess I'm in the minority who don't mind spoilers (as long as their is a warning); I often seek out spoiler reviews - I don't mind knowing the ending and in some cases I want to know if the secret actually is worth the suspense of the book - that is, is this book worth my time or the author just jerking my chain with a big build up that doesn't deliver? There's very little that's worse than that.

J Q Rose said...

I'm with you on hating spoilers reviews, but I bet we all know readers who always read the last page of a book to decide whether they want to buy it. Loved your joke...the perfect ending to the post.

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