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.