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Empty endorsements 

It's book-review week over at the Billings Outpost, which means it's time to give a big pat on the back to this alternative weekly for providing coverage of the Montana literary scene. In the NewWest discussion referenced below, some folks have complained that there are no decent reviews. But at the Outpost David Crisp just goes out and tries to create some.

On the other hand, I must admit the lead review did make me cringe. Roger Clawson reviews the blurbs before reviewing the book, and in so doing announces that most endorsers -- himself included -- haven't actually read the book in question. Is that the best way for a blurbophobe to combat such an empty practice? I'm sure the always-controversial Clawson would say so, though I'd rather he simply vowed to stop providing empty endorsements himself.

Second question: is a book review the best place to raise such issues? Or as this site points out (thanks to Terry Teachout for the link), should a book review simply identify books that people should or should not read?

Join the discussion at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johnclaytonoutreach/, or let me know your thoughts via info at johnclaytonbooks (and you can fill in the rest).

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