How Many Stars?

The internet is obsessed with reviewing things.

I got an email today:

Hi, Mitchell, how many stars would you give “The Communist Manifesto”?

What am I supposed to say to that?

Pretty well written. Some interesting ideas, although they haven’t really worked out so super well for a lot of people. 3/5 stars.

It’s not that I don’t like reviews. I like reviews. I like when people review my books, for example. I like the negative reviews almost as much as I like the positive ones.

But some things transcend reviews.

The Maltese FalconDracula, and Frankenstein are books that defined entire genres.

One time someone said to me about The Maltese Falcon, “It’s just like every other noir book.” No. Every other noir book is just like The Maltese Falcon.

Other books changed the world. The Origin of Species did this.

How am I supposed to rate these books? How am I supposed to assign them a value?

Sometimes the reputation is bigger than the book.

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Hi, I’m Mitchell Nelson.

I wrote The Cannibal’s Daughter and some other books. I blog on this site occasionally, but I spend most of my time writing new fiction. You can read more about me here, if that's what you're into.

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