I was reminded of the comment when reading the entire time wasting but OH SO fascinating debacle of the plagiarist Cassandra Clare (check it out here. It’s long but I couldn’t stop reading. Thank you sean kennedy by way of emmyjag). Anyway, somewhere along the way an author I respected posted on an amazon.com review of CC’s printed work that the reviewer was blasting the author when it should be the book.
This reminded me that I thought this was a great point and so I bring it here to my five readers (I gained one!). How often when either reviewing or even casually talking about books do we equate the book with the author?
It’s an excellent point that I think we, as readers in general, before even getting into reviewing, need to separate the work from the author. The book can be total crap but that means nothing about the author. If the mystery is bad, that doesn’t mean the author is lazy or ignorant. It means they poorly wrote that aspect. Perhaps the ending is ridiculous and stupid, but that’s the –story- not the author. I tend to use the two synonymously in both casual conversation and reviews. It’s a habit I try to break unless I’m specifically addressing the author or referring to them for a reason, but I admit, it’s an ongoing vice I must actively remind myself not to do.
Now, I can say to any authors I’ve done this to – I apologize and meant the work! But how often do readers do this? Does a bad book really affect how you view the author? Does the book itself change your view of an author?
On that note, I remember reading a book and although it was a m/m romance, I had the distinct impression the author is homophobic. How can I infer that? I guess I didn’t find the “jokes” funny or the comments amusing, but instead purposefully insulting. I definitely equated the book with the author. Right or wrong, I had that strong impression.
What about other readers?
Do you tend to make assumptions and judgments of authors based on their work?
As reviewers, do you review the author as much as the book?