Better Criticism

Ten Commandments for a dying Art

Better Criticism - Front Cover
Chris Tookey
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£17.99, US$ 31.99, €26.50
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About The Author

For 20 years, from 1993 to 2013, Chris Tookey was the film critic for the Daily Mail, the UK’s best-selling mid-market daily newspaper. He was also film critic for the world’s most popular online newspaper, Mail Online. In 2013, he won the award Arts Reviewer of the Year from the London Press Club. Other jobs have included TV & film critic for the Sunday Telegraph, TV critic for the Daily Telegraph and theatre critic for the Mail on Sunday. He has written features and reviews for Prospect, the Sunday Times, Observer, European, Books & Bookmen and National Review. He is a prolific broadcaster, interviewer and interviewee on radio and TV, has presented Back Row and The Film Programme for Radio 4, and has worked in television and theatre (fringe, regional and West End), as a writer, composer, director and producer. His books on criticism are The Critics’ Guide to Movies, Named & Shamed: The World’s Worst and Wittiest Movie Reviews from Affleck to Zeta-Jones, ,em>Tookey’s Turkeys, Tookey’s Talkies and Better Criticism: Ten Commandments for a Declining Art.

About The Book

Paid critics are an endangered species, and good criticism is a dying art. Editors are culling many, and frequently all, of their best critics. In the academic world, balanced criticism is being driven out, in favour of weird and wacky, hard-left dogma. Especially on the internet but also in newspapers and magazines, there’s more bad criticism than ever before – needlessly rude, ill-judged, poorly expressed or bigoted, and sometimes all four.

There are “reviews” that are not reviews at all, but paid-for marketing tools or uncritical hagiography by friends and relations of the artist (and sometimes by the artist himself). Corruption in the field of reviewing is rife.

Bad is driving out good. Even in such havens of free speech as Western Europe and America, the story of criticism over the last few years has been a shocking tale of sackings, corruption, suicides, murders and editorial stupidity. Better Criticism shows how and why Criticism has become the most undervalued of all the arts, and presents Ten Commandments which should help anyone to become a better critic.