Read any bad book reviews lately?
Rotten book reviews that offend by sucking-up valuable time and wasting reduced and valuable review space have led to a counter-offensive against book reviewers who spend more time reviewing pop culture and celebrity pap rather than significant fiction and non-fiction books and the ideas within.
The people at small press publisher Permanent Press believe it’s time that critics be compelled to sit in the hot seat.
Enter The Donkey Award (Equus Asinus).
An engraved plaque will be awarded for the Best Abuse Of Space For The Least Deserving Book; in short for the most asinine review of the year.
Hundreds of reviews could be cited, and one might argue about the worst of them. But the list of nominees has been narrowed to five finalists, which all appeared in the New York Times.
And the nominees are (with links to their reviews):
• Caught and Never Look Away, reviewed by Janet Maslin.
• John Lennon, reviewed by Nellie McKay.
• Star (Warren Beatty), reviewed by Janet Maslin. (Read Booktryst's review).
• Going Rogue, reviewed by Stanley Fish.
• Solar, reviewed by Walter Kirn.
The Donkey Award jurists are:
• Joan Baum, author, print and National Public Radio book critic (Baum on Books on WSHU-FM).
• Bill Henderson, editor, author and publisher of The Pushcart Press.
• Daniel Klein, novelist, playwright, and best selling non-fiction co-author of Plato And A Platypus
Walked Into A Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes.
• Dan Rattiner, author, satirist, and founder of Dan's Papers.
• Marc Schuster, novelist and critic (Small Press Reviews).
• Martin Shepard, co-publisher of The Permanent Press and author of eleven books.
The award ceremony will feature various asinine reviews, which will be distributed to the press to illustrate their point, along with statements from the judges, most of whom will be in attendance.
A donkey will also be present, if he is not too embarrassed to attend. If he does, let's hope he doesn't make an ass of himself.
THE DONKEY AWARD
Saturday, June 5, 3 pm
Dan’s Papers Front Lawn
2221 Montauk Highway
Bridgehampton, NY 11932
For further information contact:
The Permanent Press
4170 Noyac Road
Sag Harbor, NY 11963
phone: 631-725-1101/fax: 631-725-8215