Hey, We Said That

June 10th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Toward the end of the Chicago Sun-Times BEA wrap-up is a thought attributed to Margo Hammond about the astounding success of The DaVinci Code. It seems the book was beyond-belief successful without so much as a review from The New York Times.

“How, Hammond wanted to know, could that have happened, and what does it tell us about the relevance (and long-term survival) of book pages today?”

Hammond didn’t review the book either. The idea of a gulf between reviewers and readers isn’t new — every week we wrinkle our brow at the choices made by the book reviewers for our hometown paper (The Los Angeles Times). In fact, it was an idea raised more than once during the conference, as indicated the minor brouhaha between reviewers Carlin Romano and Dale Peck. As we discussed after the NYT announced it would review more popular fiction (or meant to…time flies when you’re having fun), if book reviewers want to remain relevant, and, yes, by relevant we do mean employed, they need to accept that people read all sort of things. Meaning all sorts of things should be reviewed. There’s probably a mathematical formula to explain all of this, but we remain, as always, too lazy to unearth it.

File Under: Square Pegs