Should-Read: George Orwell: On Book Reviewers: "These books deal with subjects of which he is so ignorant...

...that he will have to read at least fifty pages if he is to avoid making some howler which will betray him not merely to the author (who of course knows all about the habits of book reviewers), but even to the general reader.... At about nine p.m. his mind will grow relatively clear, and until the small hours he will sit in a room which grows colder and colder, while the cigarette smoke grows thicker and thicker, skipping expertly.... In the morning, blear-eyed, surly and unshaven, he will gaze for an hour or two at a blank sheet of paper until the menacing finger of the clock frightens him into action. Then suddenly he will snap into it. All the stale old phrases — ‘a book that no one should miss’, ‘something memorable on every page’, ‘of special value are the chapters dealing with, etc. etc.’ — will jump into their places like iron filings obeying the magnet, and the review will end up at exactly the right length and with just about three minutes to go...

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