Proper_Cold_6939 OP t1_j0wpshm wrote

I read a 1 star review of Moby Dick just now (after heading there from this thread) and there was a 1 star saying 'beautifully written but incredibly boring.' Like seriously? The fact you liked its prose at the base level isn't worth more than a single star?


Proper_Cold_6939 OP t1_j0wjwtb wrote

Yeah, I've just learned to apply ratings to the book's background its the target audience. If a book's big on TikTok then it's going to have a high-rating regardless of actual quality. If a book is of a certain genre that's enjoyed by a particular demographic, but it subverts expectations, it's more likely to hit the 3.5.

For example, I saw readers complaining about the book 'Woman, Eating' by Claire Kohda, which I was pretty interested in as it had good reviews elsewhere (which is usually a good balance to work with). It's a subversion of vampire novel, so I went to Goodreads and checked it out. Sure enough there were plenty of YA and horror fans with goth avis complaining about it for being too arty (with the 3.5). So I immediately got it and wasn't disappointed lol.


Proper_Cold_6939 OP t1_j0w1vcu wrote

I've noticed it's often authors that have a reputation behind them. So books like Ulysses/Finnegans Wake are classic examples from Joyce. If a new book is getting recognition for 'bucking trends' and being a little different, you'll get the naysayers pop in with their review and rating too.


Proper_Cold_6939 OP t1_j0vzmk3 wrote

Yeah, I know. I was being a bit facetious with the title. Generally that's the rule I've personally found though, but others can work with their own personal tastes. I've just found a lot of the more 'out there' titles range around this area, and the same can go for Rotten Tomatoes. It's only to be expected when something's taking a risk creatively, in that it's not going to be for everyone and the scoring will reflect that. I mean, I don't always automatically like the creatively risky books myself.

But I agree about selection bias. Certain titles are going to be found by certain audiences, sequels especially so.


Proper_Cold_6939 OP t1_j0vkinr wrote

I was just looking at Naked Lunch by William Burroughs on there, and that's currently 3.46. Obviously it remains a contentious book (and for good reason), but it's a clear example. I can try and find some more, but it's something I notice often whenever I go on there.