Book Review vs. Literary Criticism


one issue a lot of literature students
asking about is the difference between a book review and literary criticism this
is fairly common as newer students in the sub major get into this type of
research and it’s pretty easy to see the distinction between the two a book
review is usually written for an average reader to determine if a book is worth
reading or not it usually summarizes a bit of the plot and it gives a reviewers
opinion about the quality of the book sometimes it will bring in themes that
are mentioned or compare works of the same author or two other authors but
it’s generally just the opinion and should a reader bother with this book
literary criticism on the other hand is written for academics to written by your
professors to talk about the themes in a in a work and compare or expand upon
themes they often compare books from the same author or books about the same
theme from different authors or books from the same genre or books from the
same time period they’re not really opinion pieces their interpretations and
attempts to understand what the author was trying to communicate to the reader
or things that might not be visible to an average reader in the end literary
criticism is not an opinion but rather just a deeper look at what’s going on in
the novel now something like fifty Shades of Grey or Twilight might not
necessarily get true literary criticism but things that might look
philosophically at a piece or might look at it in the context of a historical
period Jane Austen is in Shakespeare our common topics for literary criticism but
anything that gets considered literature gets a literary criticism and while you
can find a book review on amazon com and they tend to be maybe a couple
paragraphs literary criticism tends to be many pages with some links to other
sources a bibliography and research that you can then access later so to find out
the difference between literary criticism and
book review in one way is to look at the link literary Chris’s criticism will be
much longer also one will have a bibliography book reviews will not and
they’ll make sure that you know who your author is if they work for the New York
Times and it’s printed on the New York Times web page it’s probably a book
review but if it’s in something called the Journal of something then it’s
typically literary criticism

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