Yes, you can leave comments on most of the reviews on this site. Keep in mind our draconian but simple moderation policy:
If this was your site, you could do what you wanted. But this is not your site.
Since this is my site, I reserve all right to delete, alter or ignore comments. The First Amendment doesn’t apply to a non-American like myself, and even if it did, it would mean that you would be free to post what you wanted on your site. (I fully support your right to your own web site, and for a modest fee I can even help you set it up.)
But what would make my “Delete” finger itchy? Well, I’m not particularly fond of…
- …Random abuse: This will be deleted-on-sight, trolls.
- …Political screeds: I’m a middle-of-the-road French-Canadian, which means that I’m a flaming hippy socialist by most American standards. You will not be able to change my political opinions by a blog comment. On the other hand, keep in mind that I don’t vote in U.S. elections… so it’s not as if you have to convince me.
- …Pointless drivel: If I can’t understand your comment, it will be deleted. This applies not only to languages other than English or French, but also to sub-literate attempts at those languages.
- …Meaningless agreement: “Thanks” and “Great Review” aren’t useful. I already have an inflated sense of my own importance: Please don’t feed the ego.
- …Unsolicited self-promotion: Spam gets trashed as soon as I see it, but much of the same goes for anyone who tries using my site to sell something. (Only I get to do that.) If you’re an author with books to sell, try selling yourself as an author/person rather than pushing your book, ok? (This seems to be as good a time as any to remind everyone that I don’t accept review copies.)
- …Anonymity: “Christian Sauvé” may not be my full legal name, but it is my name and as someone who signs everything in the URL (what pretentiousness!), I tend to discount anonymous contributions far more quickly than signed ones. (It doesn’t help that the most easily discountable comments I have received so far have all been anonymous.) I’m more-or-less OK with persistent pseudonyms, though: You don’t need to sign your comments with a full name, but please sign.
Consider the house-party analogy: You wouldn’t walk into a stranger’s house and behave badly, wouldn’t you? If you did, wouldn’t you expect to be told to leave?
Most of you, dear readers, already know or suspect most of the above, and can be counted upon to act responsibly. This page is obviously not written for you… but it’s the stick I’m going to use to deal with the exceptions. If it can make you feel better, here is what I’m looking for in comments:
- Factual corrections: I may be a sarcastic know-nothing, but factual errors are unacceptable. If you know something is wrong on this site, tell me (preferably with a reference) and I will correct it or, at least, acknowledge the issue.
- Editing and typo-spotting: I don’t like to be told about errors or stylistic weaknesses, but I acknowledge that I’m a notoriously bad self-editor, and it’s less embarrassing to be told to correct a mistake than to let it stay there for years.
- Paths to explore: If you think that I should be interested in a related book, movie, article or reference, tell me: I can’t promise that I will have the time to follow up, but it may help stock up on my next Amazon order.
- Discussion of related issues: Most of my reviews are tied to broader considerations about genre, storytelling, film-making or cultural issues. If you have something to contribute, don’t be shy!
…And that’s it. Now go back and leave a really good comment!