About

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I was a publisher. Today, I still work as an editor and writer. Never shy, I have always believed that you should write honestly about yourself, what you read and, occasionally, what you see.

I’ve been a member of the team of reviewers at the San Francisco and Sacramento Book Reviews for two years now so have become something of a regular. This is their consolidated website.

http://citybookreview.com/

I’m also accepting other books for review purposes — as and when those reviews appear, they will be clearly marked. If anyone is thinking of submitting a young adult or paranormal romance title for me to review, this is essential reading, What, if anything, is wrong with young adult fiction? To give you an idea of the scope of the site, there are more than one-thousand reviews and more than one-million words. I’m reasonably prolific and, partly as a result, the site flirts with the top 100 book review sites on Technorati. That makes me one of the almost-made-it brigade with a high of forty-eight to beat. Here are the indexes:

Alphabetical Listing of Books A to J
Alphabetical Listing of Books K to Z
Alphabetical list of films
Alphabetical Listing of Television and Anime

As a quick word of explanation, the reviews written for more formal publication are limited in word count and cannot discuss any of the themes or ideas in any detail. I shall continue my more general and idiosyncratic reviews at length on this site. As always, I refuse to pull punches. If I was in a restaurant and was served a bad meal, I would swiftly make everyone aware of my unhappiness. Similarly, I will discuss anything I consider bad in the subject matter for review. But I refuse absolutely to award scores. This is too complicated a calculation for me. Although I could devise a marking scheme whereby I allocate so many marks for the prose or script, construction of the plot, the characterisation and its credibility, and so on, this is all highly subjective and potentially arbitrary. Hence, I will simply explain why I like or dislike any feature of the books, films, television or anime I review. You can draw your own conclusions from that.

If you want to talk about any aspect of this site, my e-mail address is dmar9114@yahoo.com.

  1. September 6, 2012 at 8:36 am

    When I wrote the crime fiction column for the Detroit Free Press, I had to give stars. I hated that, but they insisted, so I understand and agree with your complaint about scores.

    • September 6, 2012 at 10:09 am

      If “scores” of any sort are to be given, I find myself in sympathy with the Metacritic approach of broader traffic light categories. Even more appropriate is their acceptance of the principle it’s possible to use the whole percentage range from 0 to 100. The idea that any grading system should start at, say, 50% skews the valuation system. At least the San Francisco/Sacramento star system goes from 0.5 to 5.

  2. June 10, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    I will be reading your blog regularly now. Good job. I like your attitude.

    • June 10, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      Thanks. Good to have another follower for the relatively short while this site will continue to operate.

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