How Not to Write a Book Review


Robert Pinksy, writing at Slate, reintroduces us to John Wilson Croker and John Gibson Lockhart, two critics who hated John Keats. Croker loathed Keats so badly that he’s most remembered for this review, and that’s something, given that he also may have invented the term “conservative.”

Pinksy uses these two men as a jumping off point for a short talk on how to write (or not to write) a book review, and I have to say that in general, the advice is reasonably solid, though I wonder if Pinsky has ever read any of of our HORN! reviews and what he thinks of them?

Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →