Sunday, September 24, 2006

Extraordinary admission

Jennifer Senior ends her oh-those-Bush-critics-are-so-shrill review of two books on Bush with the following extraordinary admission: "Books like this one are a depressing reminder of how important it is for writers to have a slight sense of humor about themselves, if they want to be taken at all seriously." That's in fact the entire substance of the review - she finds an anecdote or two to quibble with, or a bit of humor she can miscast as "preen"ing, but basically her problem with the books is that they say a bunch of negative things about Bush and didn't entertain her.

It's odd how poor some of the reviews one reads in the NYT are - reading, thinking, and writing well is a rare skill, but so many people are trained in it that there ought to be an endless stream of highly talented reviewers eager to work for so prestigious an institution as the NYTSBR. One wonders if the editors are really looking just to publish the best possible reviews.


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