Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Book Reviews—The good, the bad, and ...

western fiction

There are no ugly book reviews only good and bad reviews.  At least that would be true under the axiom that any publicity is good publicity. The Return, A Steve Dancy Tale recently received one of each. Let’s start with the good.

Bookviews by Alan Caruba is one of my favorite book blogs. Caruba is a writer by profession and a longtime book reviewer. In his review of The Return, he puts me in the same paragraph with Elmore Leonard. That alone puts Bookviews into my favorite column, even if Caruba hadn’t already reviewed most of my other books. He writes: “James D. Best … is arguably one of the best writers of westerns.” Those are kind words, and I appreciate them. You’ll find Caruba’s review of The Return in his September Picks of the Month.

On the other hand, at Brandywine Books, Lars Walker writes, “The Return, another Dancy story, is another well-written tale,” but adds, “it turned me off the series, not because of the writing, but because of one of the themes.” It seems Mr. Walker was offended by Dancy's interaction with his snobbish mother. He writes, “Steve’s ability to defy her through premarital cohabitation is presented as a sort of moral triumph.” A good observation, but I feel obligated to support my characters despite their failings. You can read Walker’s review of The Return by clicking on this link.

The Return, A Steve Dancy Tale has also received some nice reviews by Amazon Readers.

Western fiction
Steve Dancy Tales

1 comment:

  1. These extra-literary prejudices irritate me. As a reviewer, I know there are readers out there who are offended by one thing or another, and I will make a note of of that in the form of a caveat for those readers. But it's not my job to make a judgment of my own. The whole business reminds me of the formal debate on the morality of THE GREAT GATSBY in an Iranian classroom in Azar Nafisi's READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN.