Reviewing a book involves developing an overall conception of the book from the reviewer’s point of view. A precise understanding of every details of the book will enable you to grasp the entire meaning to contribute to your writing. The contents of the book and the perspective from which it is written will determine how the book will be woven into critical remarks for the reader’s understanding.
Two approaches of Book reviewing
There are two main approaches towards book reviewing – the descriptive approach and the critical approach. Both are contradictory in their genre of analyzing the book. Descriptive reviewing delivers only the essential information, without dealing much with exaggeration. The writing accompanies stating of the aim and purpose of the author and quoting of striking passages from the content for better understanding.
On the other hand, a critical review is not solely about describing the book on some fixed notion, but also evaluating the book in terms of historical and literary standards. This episode of research aims at supporting the evaluation with evidence from the text. Nonetheless, there is something more to critical reviewing than what it seems. The review has to comprehend the author’s purpose towards writing the book and how the objective has contributed towards that purpose. The inherent meaning of the style will also determine the art form of the writing and the historical and literary standard upon which the writing has been based.
The essentials of book reviewing
1. You need to read the book with precision. Take note of the passages that impress you and those do not. Then assimilate what you have read and analyze the perspective of understanding of the book. The more you delve into the book, you will get an idea about the author’s thoughts. These basic understanding will enable you to weave a general remark about the book.
2. Biographical information about the author should carry some relevance with the subject of the review. This will aid in enhancing the reader’s understanding of the reviewer’s work from a much better perspective.
3. When the reviewer is doing critical reviewing, his major aim lies in the statement of opinion, that is the opinion that he has formed about the author and his writing. It is the overall judgment of the book, from the reviewer’s point of view.
Taking into considerations a few important things
‘Characters’ play an important role in the story of a book. The reviewer has to do a critical judgment of the characters, like from what sources the characters have been drawn, how the author has treated the characters and the major contribution of the characters in the story. The next most important point to focus is the ‘theme’. The reviewer has to realize the theme or themes of the book, whether the theme is traditional or familiar and the evaluation of theme, that is, whether it is psychological, or social or entertaining or escapist.