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review on book

review on book
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Overview
For your third and final article, your job is to write a review of Patti Smith’s memoir, Just Kids, published in January of 2010. This assignment is weighted the most (15%) of all critiques written this semester, so make it count.
Writes Janet Maslin in the New York Times’ book review: “Just Kids” captures a moment when Ms. Smith and (Robert) Mapplethorpe were young, inseparable, perfectly bohemian and completely unknown, to the point in which a touristy couple in Washington Square Park spied them in the early autumn of 1967 and argued about whether they were worth a snapshot. The woman thought they looked like artists. The man disagreed, saying dismissively, “They’re just kids.”
Guidelines, and guiding questions
1) THE BASICS
• “A book reviewer,” explains Maslin in the McLeese textbook, “has some very basic work to do. He or she has got to explain what this, who wrote it, what it’s trying to do and whether it succeeds. Starting from scratch. If you can present all that in an interesting way and hold the reader’s attention throughout, you’re doing it right.”
The above quote is a good guide, not only for your article but also as a manager for your emotions: if you begin to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content present in the book, refer back to the basics.
2) TIPS, FRAMEWORK, OPINION
• In chapter 8 of the McLeese book, which details book reviews, McLeese writes: “…book reviewing is the only form of arts criticism where both the art and the review are in the same medium—words written about words. The reviewer thus has “show, not tell” by including passages of the actual work within the review rather than (or in addition to) describing the writing. “
• In the interview with Maslin in the final pages of chapter 8, she speaks about her book review process. Read this again, particularly questions 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
• Effectively utilization the four elements of a critique: description (summary, genre, e.g.), context (genre, time period, e.g.), interpretation and evaluation. Consider developing an assessment before you write the critique.
• Clearly express your opinion so that the reader is informed as to whether or not he/she should buy the book.
• Read, read, read. We will read and examine book reviews in class, and for homework, but consider reading much more. Seeing how other get it done, for better or for worse, will serve you well.
Formatting
• 1,000-1,500 words. No silly fonts. Double spaced. Normal margins.
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