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Book Review

Book Review:


A book review is a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit. It can be a primary source opinion piece, summary review or scholarly review. Books can be reviewed for printed periodicals, magazines and newspapers, as school work, or for book web sites on the internet. A book review’s length may vary from a single paragraph to a substantial essay. Such a review may evaluate the book on the basis of personal taste. Reviewers may use the occasion of a book review for a display of learning or to promulgate their own ideas on the topic of a fiction or non-fiction work.

Book review definition:
“An evaluation or personal opinion of a book published in a periodical or newspaper, broadcast on radio or television, or appearing on the internet.”- Harrod Librarian Glossary.
Wikipedia define:”
i. A book review is a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit.
ii.  A book review can be a primary source opinion piece, summary review or scholarly review.”
A book review is a description, critical analysis, and an evaluation on the quality, meaning, and significance of a book, not a retelling. It should focus on the book’s purpose, content, and authority. A critical book review is not a book report or a summary. It is a reaction paper in which strengths and weaknesses of the material are analyzed. It should include a statement of what the author has tried to do, evaluates how well (in the opinion of the reviewer) the author has succeeded, and presents evidence to support this evaluation.
Types of book review:
We may categorize book review as two different types.
  • Written Book review:
    Written Book reviews are published on various Newspapers, Periodicals or Journals. We found this as written format. Many book publisher, publishing house, establish Newspaper, Periodicals or journals are published this type of book review for us.
  • Oral Book review:
    It is informal types of book review tools. Generally we found this type of book review or Television Radio program.
Necessity of Book Review: Book review is an important tool for evaluating a book. Some of
the necessity of book review are discuss in below.
i. Book quality: It helps the readers or librarian to know the quality of a book published by a new author.
ii. Reliable: Book review is more reliable tools to select a book for our library. It makes a book more reliable to a reader.
iii. Subject matter of a book: Book review clearly shows the subject matter of a book to the readers or book selector.
iv. Advance Information: It provide advance information related to a upcoming books.
v. Aid to select: Book review tools help the librarian evaluate and select books of a new author.
vi. Save time: It save the times of a book selector or a librarian to select books for his library.
vii. Publicity: Book Review make fair publicity of a book towards the reader and book selector
viii. Help other reader: The most obvious advantage of book review is the fact that they help visitors determine whether or not to read a book. Not only this, people also decide whether to buy the book or even be lent it through the collection based on the opinions of other visitors.
ix. Boost Readership: By evaluating books the publisher can easily boost the relationship between the author and readers.
You have to consider some criteria when reviewing specific genres:
Character:

i. From what sources are the characters drawn?
ii. What is the author’s attitude toward his characters?
iii. Are the characters flat or three-dimensional?
iv. Does character development occur?
v. Is character delineation direct or indirect?
Theme:
i. What is/are the major theme(s)?
ii. How are they revealed and developed?
iii. Is the theme traditional and familiar, or new and original?
iv. Is the theme didactic, psychological, social, entertaining, escapist, etc. in purpose or intent?
Plot: 
i. How are the various elements of plot (eg, introduction, suspense, climax, conclusion) handled?
ii. What is the relationship of plot to character delineation?
iii. To what extent, and how, is accident employed as a complicating and/or resolving force?
iv. What are the elements of mystery and suspense?
v. What other devices of plot complication and resolution are employed?
vi. Is there a sub-plot and how is it related to the main plot?
vii.  Is the plot primary or secondary to some of the other essential elements of the story (character, setting, style, etc.)?
Style:
i. What are the “intellectual qualities” of the writing (e.g., simplicity, clarity)?
ii. What are the “emotional qualities” of the writing (e.g., humour, wit, satire)?
iii. What are the “aesthetic qualities” of the writing (e.g., harmony, rhythm)?
iv. What stylistic devices are employed (e.g., symbolism, motifs, parody, allegory)?
v. How effective is dialogue?
Setting:
i. What is the setting and does it play a significant role in the work?
ii. Is a sense of atmosphere evoked, and how?
iii. What scenic effects are used and how important and effective are they?
iv. Does the setting influence or impinge on the characters and/or plot?
Biography:
i. Does the book give a “full-length” picture of the subject?
ii. What phases of the subject’s life receive greatest treatment and is this treatment justified?
iii. What is the point of view of the author?
iv. How is the subject matter organized: chronologically, retrospectively, etc.?
v. Is the treatment superficial or does the author show extensive study into the subject’s life?
vi. What source materials were used in the preparation of the biography?
vii.  Is the work documented?
viii.Does the author attempt to get at the subject’s hidden motives?
ix. What important new facts about the subject’s life are revealed in the book?
x. What is the relationship of the subject’s career to contemporary history?
xi. How does the biography compare with others about the same person?
xii.  How does it compare with other works by the same author?
History and other Nonfiction:
i. With what particular subject or period does the book deal?
ii. How thorough is the treatment?
iii. What were the sources used?
iv. Is the account given in broad outline or in detail?
v. Is the style that of reportorial writing, or is there an effort at interpretive writing?
vi. What is the point of view or thesis of the author?
vii.  Is the treatment superficial or profound?
viii.For what group is the book intended (textbook, popular, scholarly, etc.)?
Poetry:
i. Is this a work of power, originality, individuality?
ii. What kind of poetry is under review (epic, lyrical, elegiac, etc.)?
iii. What poetical devices have been used (rhyme, rhythm, figures of speech, imagery, etc.), and to what effect?
iv. What is the central concern of the poem and is it effectively expressed?
Book review medium:
A book review may be published as a variety of forms of medium. Such as,
i. Newspaper (Daily, weekly, monthly etc.)
ii. Radio
iii. Television
iv. Journals
v. Periodicals
vi. Web-site or blog, etc.(Most popular book review medium)
Who make a Book review?:
Generally book review may be created by Journalist, Book Publisher, Writer of a book or sometime general readers also make book review. It provide us good or bad information and criticism of a book.

Books can be reviewed for printed periodicals, magazines and newspapers, as school work, or for book web sites on the internet. A book review’s length may vary from a single paragraph to a substantial essay. Such a review may evaluate the book on the basis of personal taste. Reviewers may use the occasion of a book review for a display of learning or to promulgate their own ideas on the topic of a fiction or non-fiction work.

There are many special journals devoted to book reviews and they are indexed in special databases such as Book Review Index, and Kirkus Reviews but many more book reviews can be found in newspaper databases and in scholarly databases such as Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index and discipline-specific databases.

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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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