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the Complete Review

A Literary Saloon and Site of Review



Reviews at the complete review:



The complete review's Reviews:

  • Our reviews consist of:
    • A letter grade assigned to the book, ranging from A+ (the best possible grade) to F (a failing grade)
    • A short recommendation or warning
    • A longer review

  • The grades we assign the books we review are based solely on the subjective opinion of our Editorial Board. The grades can be interpreted as follows:
    • The grades range from A+ to D-, as well as F.
    • Books must be exceptional to be graded A+ or A.
    • Anything graded B- or higher is a book that we believe has some value and is probably worth reading.
    • Anything graded C+ to C- is already highly questionable, and probably only worthwhile for a select audience.
    • Anything graded D+ to D- is probably irredeemable junk, and worthwhile only for relatives of the author.
    • Anything graded F is so offensively bad that even relatives of the author should probably avoid it. This is a rare rating, since we usually do not finish reading books that would qualify for this grade.
    • See also our Grade Distribution page, which shows you how, in fact, grades have been distributed among the books under review.

  • Our recommendation/warning is merely our determination of whether the book is worthwhile and what specific audience it might appeal to.

  • Our reviews solely reflect the subjective opinions of our Editorial Board.

  • The Editorial Board professes to high standards, with a strong bias to the literary and a strong bias against hackwork. Among the expectations that the Editorial Board has is that the books reviewed are:
    • well-written
    • coherent
    • entertaining

  • In addition, the Editorial Board is partial to books that are:
    • clever
    • amusing
    • creative
    • novel

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Other Reviews:

In an effort to provide you with as much information as possible -- and as a quick reference tool -- the complete review provides Review Summaries of other reviews, as well as quotes From the Reviews where these are not readily accessible on the internet.

  • The Review Summaries are of print (and internet) reviews from established publications, cruelly reduced to a single letter grade.
    • The summary grades solely reflect the subjective opinion of the complete review's Editorial Board and should in no way be taken to accurately reflect the actual review.
    • The complete review does not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers in these summary reviews, and acknowledges that they are an arbitrary, biased, and subjective interpretation of the reviewer's actual opinion.
    • Some reviews are so thoroughly non-committal that a grade can not be assigned to them by the complete review. In these cases -- as well as those where the complete review has not had an opportunity to review the review -- the grade-box will be left blank.

  • The quotes taken From the Reviews are chosen solely at the discretion of the complete review.
    • In choosing the quotes the Editorial Board makes every effort to choose those sentences that seem to best sum up the review (unlike the blurbs on the back of a book, which are chosen to show the book in the best possible light).
    • While the complete review chooses the illustrative quotes in the subjective belief that they represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole we acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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Links:

The complete review is eager to make it as easy as possible for you to avoid relying on our judgement by making it simpler for you to find, read and compare the actual reviews yourself. To that end we try to provide you with links to as many of the actual reviews as possible.

Regrettably, many sites are very proprietary and protective of their information and try to prevent you from being linked directly to the information that is of use to you. The complete review tries to respect the wishes of these sites, regardless of how deplorable we find their attitude, and thus generally only link you to places you are welcome. The complete review will, however, not link to any site requiring a password (such as otherwise marvelous The New York Times site) or that you sign in before being able to access them.

The complete review, open, free, and user-friendly in all respects -- as all information on the internet should be -- tries to counter this nasty trend of sites closing themselves off, to their and to your detriment, and we recommend that you e-mail in loud (but polite) complaint to any and all sites to which we can not link you directly because of such foolish policies.

Note: While we are firm believers in equal, free, and simple access, we do respect the intellectual property rights of all those disseminating information on the internet. We do not condone the copying of information from other sites without permission (especially from our own site !). Free and simple direct linking is the obvious answer to everyone's problem, allowing those that created the content to control it while making for near-universal and simple access for anyone on the internet.


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