Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Year In Review: Screw You Sherlock

"Screw you Sherlock!”
By: Michala T

I bet that’s what Watson was thinking whenever Sherlock Holmes would answer, “It’s elementary dear boy.”
You must be thinking I’m off my rockers. But truly, I’m having a blast. Okay, let’s back up a little. You must be wondering why I would think something like that.
I’m talking about book reviews. What it is like. Doing a true book review is totally different from those “Okay class, write a three page paper on….” It is so very different. In fact, it is so very different. (I repeat myself on purpse.)

I’m reading a book; only I’m not just reading it. At the very front of my mind’s eye, while reading (hopefully a really good read but one can’t always be that lucky) I am also asking myself questions. I’m making keen observations that go deeper than just reading a book. I am constantly thinking about descriptive words, their definitions (to make sure I am using the correct word), and I am comparing one writer to another writer (sometimes in a good way, others not so good.) I am doing detective work. I am the detective who has the answers but I have to be careful with how much information I give out. It’s almost as though I am working backwards. Does that even make sense? My brain tells me not but my heart says “go baby, go.” And I know that what I feel is true.

And while lying here, curled up with my Nook reading, the thoughts that are ever present, always active starts thinking, “Is this what Sherlock felt or is this what Watson felt?” Sherlock seemed to have the answers but would only spell out the truth one single letter at a time in an agonizingly slow fashion. Some would say he was being cautious, wanting to make sure he was correct in his assumptions. It’s possible. If Watson was truly that patient of a man I can see the relationship lasting. (Lord knows I’ve learned the true meaning of patience in my relationship after all these years.) However, I think…and this is just some meaningless thoughts inside my head while reading a novel so I could be totally wrong…but I think Watson was mentally saying over and over…”Screw you Sherlock.”

But writing a book review, critically, is very much like that. If you knew the process and you had to wait for what I had to say (the book review) until I was certain of the information, if you had to stay clueless, in the dark about something imperative (isn’t finding a solid good read imperative?) while I was taking my time, dallying around with my mind, playing with words, waiting for the right one, or watching as I toyed with the perfect description, how best to express the personality and characteristics of the protagonist…I bet you would say the very same thing. I bet you would say it and then rush off to someone who can give you a faster review.

But you know why my review is so critical? Why? “It’s elementary my dear.” (Trying to not laugh as I am giddy as hell.) It’s so simple, so straightforward. My review is so critical because I immerse myself in all the elements while reading the story. I bathe in the words, the scenes, the descriptions. I breathe in the writer who is behind it all and I then share with you all I learned. Do you truly expect to get that from someone who reads a book real quick, makes a quick judgment on how best to answer the question “What was that story about and did I like it and why or why not?” I’m the real McCoy…or in this case, the real Sherlock. J

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