Can a Review Be Too Vicious?

Here is an excerpt from my new post at Thornfield Hall Redux.

 Long ago, in a different universe, before the internet bankrupted book review journals, I was a book reviewer.  I  loved receiving free books in the mail and seeing my reviews in print.  I was an avid reviewer of literary fiction, or the occasional biography, and though not all my critiques were glowing, they were not hatchet jobs… 

There is something horrifying about a truly well-wrought vicious review.  Human beings glory in schadenfreude.  I am a tougher bird than I used to be, and try to take the higher, if not the high, road.  Nonetheless, I was spellbound by Michael Hoffman’s brutal review in the TLS of Colm Toibin’s The Magician, a new historical novel about Thomas Mann.      

Here is the link to this post:

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