Complete strangers trashing a favorite book...

why am I so upset? Why do I feel so much like this a personal attack on me? I don’t know these people, beyond exchanging a few sentences on message boards. They are entitled to their opinions, and to judge by the reviews on, people either hate or love this book, with very few people in-between, but I felt compelled to reply and tell them they were wrong, wrong, wrong!

How do you react to criticism of your favorite authors, novels or other artists?

At first i react with incredulity and even disbelief. “How is it POSSIBLE that ANYONE could not like this book?!”

And then I realize the world would be awfully boring if everyone liked the same things and accept it. :slight_smile:

I always figure any taste they might have is, obviously, all in their mouth.

Depends on how their criticism is expressed. If it’s “Why do you read that crap?”, I’m offended.

Or I’m frustrated, because I have a hard time explaining why I like a particular book. I want to convince them the book isn’t crap, but I don’t know how.

But I’m just as bad. If I hear someone praising the Left Behind books, or Danielle Steele, I don’t wonder what I’m missing – I wonder what the hell they’re thinking. :slight_smile:

I’ve found that in general, people get more offended if you make fun of their taste than if you make fun of their quirks. I find this interesting.

Since one of the biggest deals in my life is my collection of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s show cast CDS, I’ve learned to say “Well, that’s YOUR opinion.”

I’m much more put off if someone attacks something I take pride in (such as, fr’instance, my taste in books or music), than if someone attacks something I don’t like about myself anyway (such as the fact that I bite my lips when nervous), or that I find to be a “guilty pleasure” (such as my mind-numbing attachment to “American Idol”). I guess we’re just better sports when our pride isn’t being insulted.

To the OP’s point, I seldom think that any response is appropriate to folks who trash favorite “intelligent” reads of mine. Not only are they liable to think that I’m a smug wench, even if I am only pointing out things they might have missed that had meaning to me, but then they might not even read or re-read the book out of sheer defiance. Best to ignore and continue on!

At least HERE at SDMB, I can be reasonably assured that no one will tell ME that my distaste for Danielle Steel books is unfounded and that enlightenment is just a “between-the-lines” paragraph away, if only I’d look…

I DID say “reasonably assured”.


How was this criticism phrased? Did they just state what they thought was wrong with the book or did they say something like: “The people who like this book should have their balls ripped off without anesthetic so they can’t breed!”? If the attack was along the latter example’s lines I would understand why you would be a bit perturbed. Still, keep in mind this is the internet and a lot of websites aren’t as diligent about curbing trolls and stamping out flamewars as others. It could be that’s just what those posters were aiming for. If so, just keep in mind a certain un-PC net cliche` pertaining to mentally challenged individuals and a sporting event these said individuals compete in.

It depends on the source. If it’s some troll on the internet, I pay little attention to it. If it’s somebody who has some credibility on the subject, I’ll give the opinion more merit. In any case, I’ll try not to let it bother me too much. It’s all subjective anyway.

Here are a few of the comments:

The only part I agree with is that some of it is very twisted and depraved. It is meant to be disturbing, for reasons intergral to the story. I hate to say it, but I really do feel like she didn’t get it. I had to post a long message explaining my points, and she softened her stance(I think she realized she had offended me) but still maintained her dislike. I made several other points that I hadn’t thought of before.

It was me that talked her into reading it in the first place. We’ve read and appreciated a decent number of the same things, so I was shocked to find her tastes diverging so suddenly from mine, and dismayed that she might feel I had steered her wrong. I also felt I had to defend my tastes, because it was under attack in public, on the msg board, as opposed to her msging me privately.