As I look on the many review websites, the one thing which strikes me as odd, is the sheer number of people putting up fresh reviews of long ago published classic works of fiction, written by long dead authors.
Now, I can see the temptation to add to the already enormous mountain of reviews with a little piece of your own personal experience, but wouldn’t it be better placed within the posts of a book group?
Reviews are the lifeblood of authors, good, bad or indifferent, each counts and each in turn has an effect on the author concerned. Reviews are vital to the author, reader, relationship. How does an author know what the reader thinks, if the reader simply walks quietly away after reading the book.
To my mind, writing a review of a book which is regarded as a well-known classic serves little or no purpose, because not only are there a plethora of similar reviews already in existence, but also nonfiction books detailing the pros and cons of these well-known works, as well as biographies and in many cases autobiographical works as well.
I write reviews for living authors because I want to leave a review which will have impact and which will bestow meaning, rather than simply add a little kudos to my own self-image.
This is not saying that I wouldn’t rate a classic book, because I certainly would and do, but only with a star rating and nothing more. Over the years since these classics have been published, I think enough people have reviewed, debated and cast quite enough opinions, and that mine would hold little weight or meaning, in the scheme of things.