Letters — Issue 12

Dear Editor

I am sorry that Roger Hall was upset by a review of Maurice Gee’s Going West which let the cat out of the bag, but pleased, for him, that he had already read the book and was not seriously inconvenienced. He is a bit unreasonable, though, in trying to prescribe a straitjacket for future reviews. In the world of the whodunnit he might have a point but there are many types of reviews, especially of works of serious literature, and one of them, which is appreciated by many readers, is that in which the reviewer discusses the way in which the author handles a theme or a series of events. Mr Hall will not need to be reminded that it is possible, in the case of an edited novel with an introduction, to leave the introduction until the reading of the novel is finished. It is entirely over to the reader to decide what to do. Perhaps Mr Hall should heed Jeremy Coney’s advice: “If you don’t want to know the score now, look away from the screen.”

 

WJ McEldowney

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