A Moral Dilemma

virgilio-dias-universitc3a1ria-2011-o-s-t-60-x-60Briefly today as life becomes no less hectic.  I need advice.  Tomorrow I have to go to a meeting which will be chaired by a friend of mine whose husband has just published his latest novel to what can only be described as something less than critical acclaim. I haven’t had time to read it yet, so I can’t pass my own opinion on it (which may not turn out to be any more favourable than that of the critics), do I mention it at all?  All thoughts on the matter gratefully received.

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22 thoughts on “A Moral Dilemma

  1. If this is a close friend, then I would say something like : ‘I hope (husband) isn’t too down about those bad reviews. Can’t please everyone! Fantastic that his new book is out!’ If the friend is more of an acquaintance then I wouldn’t mention it unless they bring it up first – then focus on the achievement of getting the book out there (that IS a huge achievement) and steer clear of talking about the critics. Hope this helps, good luck!

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    1. Thanks, Lucy. Part of the problem is that this is an international award winning novelist who could pretty much guarantee publication whatever the book had been like. In the group we move in there is no pretending that we haven’t seen the reviews!

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      1. Ah, tricky. But if he is a novelist of that level, I’m sure he understands that not every book is going to be a hit. Maybe he isn’t too riled by it. Perhaps the best thing is to let her bring it up first and see how the land lies from there.

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  2. The truth seems harmless (and is always less trouble in the long run): “Congratulations on the new novel – haven’t had a chance to read it yet. How’s it going?” If you haven’t ordered a copy yet, get onto Amazon before the meeting. We’ve all been there.

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    1. Part of the problem, Margaret, is that I (and the book world in general) raved about his last novel. It throws this one into such relief. I wish I hadn’t read the reviews because they have set me up for a real disappointment.

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  3. I’d recommend a congratulations on the fact of publication. If they bring up the topic of reviews (and only if they bring it up), a “can’t please everyone!” and a reiterated congrats. Getting as far as publication is a big deal in itself, after all!

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  4. i would be a real coward I’m afraid and hope that someone else would be the first to bring up the topic. Since it’s going to be expected you’ll have seen the reviews and will know they are not what he wants, you can be sympathetic.

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  5. Hope it went okay. Bit late but I think I would have acknowledged the bad reviews and hoped they weren’t taking them to personally. You have the perfect excuse for not having read the book yet, so at least you can’t be asked for your own opinion on it.

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