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Blog of Week: The Excerpt Reader

Have you ever given a book the one-page test – picked up a copy in a library or bookstore and started reading, thus allowing the author a page or so to convince you that this book would be worth reading?

The Excerpt Reader, from a blogger known as A-Z, does this on a grand scale. A-Z reviews books based on reading an excerpt. Based on my reading of four of his reviews, I think the Excerpt Reader as a consumer guide beats at least 80 percent of all Sunday newspaper reviewers.

These reviews are succinct (naturally), judicious, unpretentious, and clear. Here’s A-Z praising
Nicole Krauss’s upcoming novel:

Krauss’s prose is very well crafted, even if at times it seems over-calculated and slightly academic, a trifle “experimental,” however reading The Young Painters brings to mind the best Central European suspense writers, like Stefan Zweig and Franz Kafka.

Here’s A-Z bashing the Twitter sensation Derek Haines, a prolific self-publisher:

True, The Excerpt Reader has avowed (well, at least to himself) to read a full excerpt before passing any judgment upon a given novel, but having read the first few pages of Milo Moon, I believe the job sufficed (so much so, that a thought has occurred, to devote one’s time to reviewing bad books, if only for the humane purposes invested in it, that of warning innocent souls. A suggestion for the blog’s name: BadBookReview).

What I like best: every review closes with a VERDICT, in which A-Z tells us whether to buy or not to buy.

3 Responses to Blog of Week: The Excerpt Reader

  1. I've never ever been called a sensation before in my life! I suppose I should say thank you. Not so sure it collocates with my name very well though. And with regard to A-Z, I am always pleased to be noticed, and I did thank him for taking the time to post his review of Milo Moon.

  2. Ah! You know what? I don't want to poop the A-Z party or anything, but really maybe I would suggest A-Z to write something of his own than 'reviewing' and 'bashing' someone else's hard work!

    Another advice: Stop using 'A-Z' as a name.. Why? Well, I'm sure both A and Z have enormous problems with it! ;)

    SchriBlur Mayirp

  3. Interesting comments. Derek H is a gentleman who seems to appreciate the value of publicity, and I'm in accord with him there. Anon touches the bane of critics everywhere. Put simply: if you know so much, why don't you write your own stuff? Put up or shut up. A good question, but the world in my view is richer place when the A-Z's fire away.

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