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The Reviews Maven
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A few days ago The Wall Street Journal profiled prolific book reviewer Harriet Klausner, A Novel Heroine. Harriet had 8,649 reviews to her credit as of mid-March. The fact that the overwhelming majority of them are favorable has put a few critical noses out of joint. But, as explained in the article:

It would be overstating things to suggest that Ms. Klausner, 53, has never met a book she didn't like. It would be more on the money to say she's of the "if you don't have anything nice to write, don't write anything at all" school of literary criticism. "If a book doesn't hold my interest by page 50 I'll stop reading, which is one of the reasons I give a lot of good ratings," says Ms. Klausner, whose voice suggests she's taken more than a few nips of helium. "And why review a book to give it a low rating or to tear it apart? Nothing in that."

Most importantly, among the vast numbers of titles Harriet reads are those by lesser-known writers. Since her reviews appear in innumerable places on the web, she acts as a sort of one-woman publicist for those of us whose efforts are of no interest to The New York Times and other such large publications. Some critics may complain about Harriet's approach, but for a lot of writers, getting a good review which is widely disseminated is a Big Deal.

Her review of One For Sorrow was the second Mary and I saw. We were thrilled. And relieved. And forever grateful. I've had few more terrifying experiences than awaiting reviews for a newly released book. What if there were none? What if they were bad?

And I felt no different after the release of subsequent novels. So all I can say is, "Thanks, Harriet! In our book you get five stars."



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