(titled thusly so I don’t have to pay Jerry royalties for “Whaddaya Think?”)
I’m going to present a quote from a book review. The reviewer is also an author. I am omitting all names (including the reviewer) and the topic of the book, as many (all?) can be polarizing, and I want an honest reaction to the content, not the personalities. No fair googling the quotes before you respond. (The omitted items are in italics.)
I was preparing for the worst when I read in the blurbs that this book “avoids the clamor for extremes” (name withheld), is “the first to be truly gracious” and is great “for any who are tired of straw man arguments and polarizations” (name withheld), and rises above “the usual shallow, facile critiques of [one of the primary topics of this book]” (name withheld).
Is it just me, or is it deeply troubling that the reviewer sees as contemptible (”I was preparing for the worst”) the ideas of avoiding clamor, employing clear logic, and (worst of all) the horrendous sin of being gracious?
Or maybe it’s something else. The very next sentence in the review says:
I can’t help but assume that [my book on the same topic] is one of the “extreme”, “straw man”, “facile” critiques they’re thinking of.
Isn’t this like James-Cameron-level narcissism? I keep hearing Carly Simon singing, “You’re so vain / I bet you think this blurb is about you”.
In the words of Linda Richman, “Discuss.”