July 30, 2008 – 8:40 a.m.
As this blog really gets up and rolling we certainly hope to receive more responses to our posts. While we do have the ability to moderate posts, we’ll certainly attempt to post any response that isn’t crude or just totally unreasonable. I am not going to respond to every anonymous post. With that said, I do wish to respond to the anonymous poster who was critical of my positive post about Jerry Jenkins’ new novel, Riven. The anonymous poster took exception to my positive assessment of the book writing, in part, “If Riven is a classic, great. But don’t act like readers (and Tyndale staff) are stupid.” My positive reaction about Riven wasn’t at all meant to suggest that a reader shouldn’t make his or her own decision about the quality of the book. My post included the author’s assessment that this is the book he has always wanted to write. It also included a positive endorsement from Chuck Colson, and my own endorsement (although I did write that I don’t read much fiction).
I’m certainly not going to tell any reader to like or dislike a book. That’s the reader’s decision to make. I will, however, not hesitate to post about a book if it’s receiving positive feedback. Riven has sparked a lot of discussion at Tyndale since its release. Most people who have read the book have really enjoyed it. Several thought the ending was implausible, but that the ending did not detract from the overall high quality of the book. Tyndale president Mark Taylor, in an Amazon review, lauded the book but wrote that “a few elements … are unbelievable.” As for the poster’s criticism of Mark posting a positive review about a Tyndale book, Mark did not post anonymously. If Mark was posting positively about Riven but hiding behind a veil of anonymity, the criticism may be warranted. It’s certainly easy to criticize or take snarky shots when it’s done anonymously. I think most authors would be pleased that the president of the company where they publish is being publicly supportive of his or her book. I’m sure Jerry Jenkins is as well.