Monday, February 21, 2011


The Sunday Star Times deserves a bouquet for its revamped look especially for the new separate lift-out arts & entertainment section - CULTURE. The 24 page section is devoted  to film, books and music, televison and the arts. Books got three pages with a good selection of book reviews and news.

I especially enjoyed Cheryl Sucher's review of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. And of course the Sunday Star Times is the only newspaper to bring us the official NZ best-seller list each week where I observed that Stieg Larsson's three crime novels stll occupy 3rd, 4th & 5th spots several years after publication.

Good too to see much of a page given over to reviews of recent crime fiction. Sadly a real clanger in the review of Jo Nesbo's latest cracker, The Leopard, in which the reviewer, Rebekah Walton, describes Jo Nesbo as a Swedish author and then refers to Sweden twice in her review.
Jo Nesbo is of course Norwegian and his very fine novel is set in Norway. Ouch!


Rachael King said...

It's things like that that do make me wonder sometimes if reviewers actually read novels they review (in fact a reviewer once admitted to me he had only read the first chapter of a book he gave a scathing review to based on a couple of bad metaphors in the first chapter - the rest of the book was great in my opinion).

Anonymous said...

I would say that reflects : a] the amount they are paid and b] that they are quite often journalists who do not specialise in book reviews.

Beattie's Book Blog said...

Rachael - yes you do wonder. I mean this is the equivalent of calling Lloyd Jones an Australian.

Bookbrainz - yes I think you are probably right on both counts. I know I long ago gave up reviewing crime fiction for the SST because of the insultingly low payment on offer.

Judith said...

Yes, I noticed that too! Huge clanger. But it was good to have the reviews.

Anonymous said...

Honest mistake, duly noted and regretted.
All my reviewers read the books they review, Rachael.
Thanks for the bouquet, Graham - at least we pay freelancers for reviews. Not sure that everyone does.
Mark B

Rachael King said...

Great to hear Mark. Also great that the SST continues to give great book coverage when it seems to have shrunk in many publications. Congrats on the Sargeson btw.