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Faint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America

"Faint Praise should be considered mandatory reading for anyone aspiring to become a book reviewer, and is especially valuable reading for authors, publishers, academicians, and the general reading public.–Midwest Book Review

"Everyone in the field will applaud Pool's passionate insistence on the importance to literary culture of the serious, informed critique, which is increasingly endangered and in need of such vigorous support.–Publishers Weekly

"A thoughtful and thought-provoking guide to the artistry and scholarship, not to mention the agony and ecstasy that is part of good book reviewing... Pool's crisp, intelligent, and witty style moves the reader from the lonely and unrewarding depths to the lofty heights of book reviewing."–Lawrence Rubin, Journal of Popular Culture

"Veteran reviewer Gail Pool comes at the problem of the declining and frequently abysmal quality of book reviews in America, across the publishing spectrum, from a down-to-earth, nitty-gritty, practical perspective... to yield a most usable and rewarding guide to the book review business."–Anis Shivani, American Book Review


"Book reviewing faces its own "silent spring," Gail Pool warns in her new book, flashing a distress signal over the endemic rot and habitat destruction laying waste to the field of letters, and doing her darndest to make people care."-James Wolcott, New Republic, cover review


"Pool's book is timely. It is also well-conceived and well-researched. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a more thoughtful, informative book about the work I've done for nearly 40 years."–Steve Weinberg, Boston Globe

"Pool's analysis is as wide-ranging as it is hard-hitting. Faint Praise is a brave polemic, written out of a profound love of literature, evident on every page."–Megan Marshall, Radcliffe Quarterly

"Everything you need to know about book reviewing can be found in Faint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America.  It is a thoughtful and entertaining examination of the culture of book reviewing."-Tony Miksanek, Letters, The Book Room, Chicago Sun-Times


"In the future, freshly appointed book editors at our daily newspapers should be handed a copy of Gail Pool's Faint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America.  They could use it: It is a very commonsensical, clear-headed and knowledgeable analysis of the current state of professional reviewing."-Jerome Weeks, "Critical Mass," National Book Critics Circle


"If you care about the fate of book reviews,...Faint Praise...is a book you should care about."-Michael Merschel, book review editor, Dallas Morning News


"Pool's book is a clarion call for a return to a vigorous kind of criticism, based on sound, logical thinking and the precise use of language."- Steven W. Beattie, "That Shakespearian Rag" (literary blog)


"If you're a book reviewer (aspiring or established), or simply want to understand reviewing better, there's no doubt: You must read Gail  Pool's Faint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America.  Period."-Erika Dreifus, "Practicing Writing"


"Faint Praise is a thorough look at the current state of book reviewing in America...The examples are entertaining--and revealing...Our assessment: A-: solid overview and discussion."-The Complete Review


"[Readers of Faint Praise]...will quite likely never read reviews the same way in the future as they have in the past."-Hartford Courant