Sunday, 5 January 2014

Review writer

My thoughts are being directed more firmly to the coming months after concentrating on the Christmas - and a winter cold. I have managed to flip through the two books I have promised to review for different journals. Sadly, I failed to get the new Veii volume for review; somebody else was a couple of hours quicker than I was. Thus I failed to get the volume for free... Nevertheless, I have read two books on the Mediterranean, spiced with the descriptions and analyses of surface collections and other methodologies. Both worthy books, but luckily for a reviewer, each of them with some aspects that require commenting. Naturally, the immense value of both books is without a question for various reasons.

It is not always so easy to write a review. When the texts are meant to be for a 'general archaeologist', but there is a specific point one wants to raise, it can be tricky to keep it in 1000 words and simple. One also has to find a right tone and right words in order to convey the idea that one understands the choices made, but it would have been helpful to expand or add something to certain sections. Every now and then one finds a specialist topic lacking a basic reader or founding study - or an author making unintentionally a wrong argument, since a field is not general knowledge. Well, now I have to cut my drafts or ideas to half and get these reviews to the review editors at some point in January.

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