HowTo:Write A Book Review

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Too stupid for real journalism but too intelligent for sports? Are you a talentless aspiring novelist? Or are you a surprisingly well-read heroin addict who came up with a creative way to earn money to fuel your addiction?

Writing a book review is an incredibly simple way of earning money and requires only a rudimentary command of the language in which you're writing and the tricks of the trade. With a few easy steps, you'll be writing book reviews like the pros.

Cat-catreadingbook03

Here's a cat reading a book. Even a cat could write a book review. How much more motivation do you need?

edit Choose a publication

This step is key to writing a good book review. Newspapers are the main purveyors of book reviews, but magazines (the poor man's newpaper) such as FHM also feature book reviews. The most important thing as a book reviewer is to pander to you audience. For example, here's a sample sentence from a review of an Andy McNab novel:

"Andy McNab's prose is hackneyed and loaded with idioms, and reads more like Nuts magazine than a book. As a thriller, this book falls flat on its face, with a bland, predictable plot and depthless, 2D characters." The Times

Now, while that sentence is perfect for the Times' intellectual middle class readership, if you were writing for the Daily Mail (which barely deserves italics), you might change it to this:

"Andy McNab is the shit!" Daily Mail

Remember that the Daily Mail's readership are primarily working-class and as such would consider McNab a genius for even reading a book, never mind writing one. So you see that it is important to change the language and opinion according to the level of the reader. In choosing your publication, remember what kind of a person you are. An English professor would find it difficult to pull out gems like "'Insert name here is the shit", so if you are such a person, it would be advisable not to write for the Daily Mail.

edit Add stock phrases

Don't forget to pepper your review with a plethora of generic phrases and hackneyed sentences, especially if they are overused and don't make sense in context. All critics use these as a substitute for real opinion. They do not have to be true or even applicable.

Even the most contemptible of drivel can be a "page-turning experience," given that reading any book necessitates the turning of pages.

edit Summerise plot

Summarising the plot is a vital part of writing a book review, as it fills large amounts of precious space, and requires no original thought whatsoever. This is key, since you, along with 90% of writers, are a talentless hack. The key to summarising a book review is essentially plagiarising the blurb in slightly different terms. This is to ensure that any possible trace of original writing is utterly purged.

edit Do I actually need to read the book?

LostSymbol

Don't read it. I read it. My brain melted because of it. Surely I should have been able to tell from the author that it would be a clichéd, factually incorrect bundle of nonsense?

No. Generally you can gather enough information from the blurb and the last page to sound like you have a valid and well researched opinion. Your a busy man after all, what sort of unemployed scumbag has time to actually read books?

edit Write a quotable sentence

Money666

Oh you reviewed my book? Here's $50,000

Remember, one of the most important elements of writing a book review is finding a solid quote to be printed on the book's cover. The author will then stuff your pockets with precious, precious money. An example of this is:

"This is a really really really good book, like, its so awesome. I cannot possibly overemphasise how much you should read this book. I will personally massage anyone who reads this book."

edit And you're done

Wow. You did it. You're now rich and powerful and have intellectual credibility with minimal effort and without contributing to society whatsoever. Well done.

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