Paul Andinach pandinac at
Wed Jun 12 21:14:53 EDT 2002

On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 rohina at wrote:

> Did they ever add a rating that let you say something along the
> lines of "I'd rather pull out my fingernails than read this book?"

IIRC, Dreadful, the lowest rating, is defined somewhere on the site as
"I would burn copies of this book to save other people the trauma of
reading it".

But this is, in any case, just a suggested definition, as are they
all. The actual definition of any rating depends on how you use it; if
you give a Dreadful rating to any book that you found less appealing
than having your fingernails pulled out, then for all practical
purposes that is what Dreadful will mean for you.

> There are a couple of things I couldn't read because I hated them
> so much when I tried, but they kept recommending Tolkein to me.

As a side note, Alexlit completely ignores author information when
giving recommendations, because some authors write books that vary
wildly in style and quality. If Alexlit keeps recommending a book you
haven't tried by an author you didn't like, it could be bias induced
by a hoarde of people who liked that book - but it just might be that
this is the one book by that author that you will love.

> Alexlit actually nagged me into trying Bujold, because that was
> the only thing besides Tolkein and Sandman that it kept
> recommending that I hadn't read.

FWIW, the recommendation page has recently been rigged so that it
never recommends more than one book by a given author at a time.
The days are gone when you could have a rec list consisting of nine
Bujold books, five Sandman books, and a couple of novels by somebody
you're never heard of. Now it's one Bujold book, one Sandman book, and
a dozen novels by people you've never heard of.

failing at the last minute to resist the temptation to observe that
many people who loathe Tolkein have found a lot to like in Tolkien

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