Our guest judge this month is Daniel Levin Becker, reviews editor at The Believer and author of Many Subtle Channels. We asked him about optimism, Oulipian constraints, and the best time of day to read a book review.
Electric Literature: What makes a good book review?
Daniel Levin Becker: A good book review, according to the only really universal criterion I have, starts a conversation―one that ideally has as much to say as someone who’s read the book already as it does to someone who hasn’t heard of it, or for that matter who hasn’t read a book since high school. A good book review also stays rooted in the world, rather than beginning and ending within the book, though not so much so that it forgets to engage with what the author is doing.
– Fiction Advocate