What do you do when you can’t take an author seriously?

What do you do when you can’t take an author seriously?

namelesschaos namelesschaos
Ok, here is the scenario you are reading a book for review and all of a sudden the author says something so radically, wrong, misinformed, bias or otherwise bad you can’t take the author seriously anymore how do you handle that in your review?

I ask because I have a book that I’m under no obligation to review for anyone but I feel the need to review anyway because while everyone else seems to love this book, I hated it. The reason is that I used the index to skip to the section on a topic that is very close to me (keeping it vague as to not invite a splinter debate) and that I have researched extensively and this was by far the worse treatment of the topic I have ever seen. The author, who to my shock has a legitimate Phd. in the field of sexuality, completely contradicts what all lay and scientific literature on this has said on this topic, possibly because he can’t separate two pretty clear and distinct concepts from each other. Not only that he has the audacity to say that we should not confuse his definition, which as far as I can tell he made up because no other source I’ve read has used it and like I said contradicts accepted definitions with what would actually be an much more accurate definition. All the while not citing even one of the lay or scientific articles on the topic. In addition, while on the topic of citing it is poor eg. You do not write your sources as being plural in text and then only cite one in the reference section. It also disorganized and hard to follow the author’s train of thought, likely because no thought went in to it… and I could go on. Plain and simply after reading that section I can’t take anything the author says seriously.

I will eventually read the entire book but only for the sake of thoroughly demonstrating that the author has no idea what he is talking about, at least in regards to this topic. I already know how I’m going to handle this personally I will explaining the above and more in detail and explain why that makes me not trust the rest of the book. To me it would be dishonest to try to review the rest of it independently of that section. As someone who feels very passionately about the topic, I hated having the reality of my sexual experience erased in this section. That he cautions against recognizes the reality of my experiences was the decisive factor; the author lost all credibility in my eyes and I will only read the rest of the book to eviscerate him it would be dishonest for me to pretend otherwise.

So how would you handle it?
11/10/2010
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ToyGeek ToyGeek
Quote:
Originally posted by namelesschaos
Ok, here is the scenario you are reading a book for review and all of a sudden the author says something so radically, wrong, misinformed, bias or otherwise bad you can’t take the author seriously anymore how do you handle that in your ...
Probably exactly as you plan to handle it. I feel no obligation to not be brutally honest in a review, especially if an author is up to shenanigans. I've written long reviews shredding books in other fields before, so if I encountered it in a book on topic for this site, I'd do the same.
11/10/2010
ScottA ScottA
If the author is wrong then you should bring it up. Even better, cite some sources where people can get the correct information. Sexuality is still somewhat taboo, and unless people have an extensive private library it's unlikely they'll know a lot about it.

Go ahead and rip it apart!
11/11/2010
Kindred Kindred
I agree with ToyGeek and ScottA. Review it honestly and openly, but definitely cite references of your own so readers can decide for themselves. With topics such as sexuality, there are always going to be differing opinions. Your review will look stronger if you support it with literature/journal references.
11/11/2010
gone77 gone77
Always be honest. Never blow smoke up an author's ass. hehe
11/11/2010
Total posts: 5
Unique posters: 5