Monday, 24 February 2014

Prize-Winning Books More Apt to Receive Negative Reader Reviews

As reported in The Guardian, a study undertaken by two academics indicates that books winning such prestigious prizes as the Booker or National Book Award are more apt to receive negative reader reviews after the fact. The study is based on an analysis of almost 39,000 Goodreads reviews.

The authors of the study believe this phenomenon is the result of a mismatch between reader and novel: readers assume that a book is "good" because it has won an award, but what is "good" depends largely on individual taste. If the prize-winning book is not to a reader's taste, s/he may be disappointed, thus giving it a negative review.

For the full text of The Guardian article, please see

I'm not really surprised by these findings because if you look at random at Goodreads and Amazon reviews of novels generally considered to be literary classics, you'll find the same trend towards negativity if the book does not accommodate the reader's taste. (For my earlier post on this subject, please click here.)

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