US readers are up in arms about how much plot Boyd has given away. Are they right? Don’t hold backJust a few weeks before he publishes his top-secret James Bond novel, Solo, William Boyd is under fire. Beneath the sly headline “Treacherous”, letters in the New York Times’s books section last week slated him for giving away too much in a review of Henning Mankell’s A Treacherous Paradise. “I feel no need to [read it], since Boyd has revealed the entire plot,” fumed a reader. “Perhaps you may want to invite Mankell to review Boyd’s forthcoming novel,” said another.The row echoes disputes in other art forms. Can a big “reveal” in a play be itself revealed if reviewers are not explicitly asked to keep it secret? Should comedy critics quote or summarise standups’ gags? If you refer to a plot “twist” or “coup”, are you distorting the audience or reader experience? Is it wrong to say that hero and heroine become an item in a romcom, even though the formula requires it? Is a next-day TV review free to discuss who was eliminated in a reality show or who did it in a detective story, although many will watch it …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books