Sean Beaudoin

Enough excellent writing to fill a large tube sock

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Stab Your Own Back

I am frequently asked about the book reviews I write, and one of the main questions always seems to be why I'm so nice in them.  It hadn't really occurred to me that I was being nice, I thought I was just being as honest and straightforward as possible, but when I thought about it I realized that I actually was probably a lot more lenient in my comments about books, whereas with music or movies, I have no problem slagging them unmericifully. Especially if I think they're derivative or dishonest. Well, you only need to get one bad review yourself before you realize that someone real is on the other end, waiting to be punctured, by what you write. It's different with a movie, even though in this country we pretend one director or writer or star is responsible for the end products, the reality is that dozens of people have a huge effect on the success of a film. A book, however, is a whole different thing. It's usually a one-person show, and that one person has usually made themselves very vulnerable by putting their thoughts on paper. Also, I've come to realize how incredibly difficult it is to write a book, any kind of book, and I have a lot of admiration for pretty much anyone who gets it done. (Even James Frey, who most people, including me, sort of feel needs a boot to the head, but you also sort of have to admire the guy for having the stones to get it out there). It's much harder for me to say something is poorly written than it used to be. I can still say it doesn't work for me or my taste, but it's a lot harder to really slam someone who spent countless hours bleeding into a laptop, no matter what came out the other end. So, maybe, like The Grinch, my heart really has grown five times in size and I'm about to sled into Whoville and tell Danielle Steel how much I liked her last piece of crap about the heiress who was peripherally affected by Vietnam.

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Interesting when you have experience on the other side of commentary,isn’t it…...

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