A brutal and yet elegant takedown (or the art of the negative review)

It’s unfortunate for Caleb Carr that the craft of writing so often disobeys a beloved American maxim: Hard work pays off. The colossal effort Carr has exerted to produce his latest book, “The Legend of Broken,” weighs distressingly on each of the novel’s 734 pages, including nearly 80 pages of endnotes. This is a fantasy epic — the tale of a fabled Germanic kingdom that rose and fell during the Dark Ages — but with its convoluted prose, its trudging plot and its onslaught of...

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Niche blogging this ain't

Excuse the colloquial and inartful title, but it seems to capture my perspective on this subject. And what exactly is the subject here? Well, my inability to stick to any particular genre or subject or age group, etc.  It seems to me that basic strategy when it comes to building an audience online is know your audience and give them what they want. Pick what you know, or want to know, and cover it well.  Unfortunately for me, I seem unable to do either. Heck, I can’t even settle on a...

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