Thursday, March 13, 2008

Everybody's a critic

New flash: You just can't please some people. I did a review this week for a book of John Baeder's diner paintings. It didn't seem like the kind of thing BG Notes readers would care for, so I wasn't going to bother linking to it on the blog, but this morning I received a rude, snarky email from Baeder himself complaining about the review. Now, if it had been a rude, snarky review (which, believe me, would have been easy enough to write), I would understand. It was, however, a very positive review--a real softball, in fact. Or so it seems to me. Read it here and tell me what you think. I suppose it would be asking too much to expect Baeder to be grateful for 800 happy words about his work, his book and the show he has opening here in December. On the contrary, I suspect he thinks I ought to be grateful that he expended the energy to read my review. Raking in the dough from those paintings must be exhausting.


I shouldn't complain, though, because for every whiner like Baeder there are at least a dozen gracious, talented people who really appreciate the effort that goes into a thoughtful review. Last week I reviewed Susannah Felts' new YA novel, This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record. Again, I didn't link to it here because I assume (in fact, I hope) I don't get a lot of 15-year-olds hitting this blog. It is a very good book, however, and I recommend it if you're wracking your brain for a gift for your daughter, niece, friend's kid, etc. Go here to read my review. In spite of the fact that I had a tiny quibble with the pacing of the first part of the book, Susannah took the time to say a kind word about the review at her blog. That's very classy. It's her first book. Wish her luck.

11 comments:

FlorieGray said...

"Bitter" doesn't even begin to describe your rant, Maria. Eat a burger, take a second look at Baeder's exquisite and detailed art and perhaps you'll feel a bit happier about things...or maybe you just need a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich and another velvet Elvis to add to your gallery???

BitterGrace said...

Florie, honey, you missed my point. I spent a whole review giving props to Baeder's art (read it), and he went out of his way to piss on me. That's truly crappy behavior. I'm entitled to this rant.

BitterGrace said...

Ooops, I see I managed to use both piss and crap as a metaphor for the same event. Well, I'm a little stressed...

Margaret said...

Who is this Florie person, and can you make her go away?

BitterGrace said...

Oh, Florie's okay. She just hasn't been pissed on by a rich artist lately.

Mary said...

I just read your review and there is nothing negative about it.

Alvis Hitchcock said...

How can a man who paints the same damn nostalgic daydream over and over again for a million years complain when the best reviewer in a Baeder-saturated town gives the book such generous attention?

BitterGrace said...

I dunno Alvis--some people are just talented that way.

Thanks for the feedback, Mary. Can you imagine the response I'd have gotten if there'd been the tiniest bit of criticism in that review? BTW, I'd love to know what you think of those paintings. Feel free to email me off-blog if you care to share.

Bozo said...

BG-- The review seems fair enough to me (gracefully written too), though I don't know a lot about the guy. Why don't you post his e-mail address so that everyone can retaliate? Might be fun.

Mary said...

Check your hotmail. ;)

BitterGrace said...

Hey, Mary, thanks. I pinged you back.

Thanks for the kind offer, Bozo. Revenge might be fun, but I'm kinda partial to my wounded indignation.;-)