What is a review?

A review is:

  • a critical evaluation of a literary work,
  • published in a journal or newspaper shortly after the work is published.
  • reviews of academic books are often written by scholars who have expertise in the genre or subject matter of the work being reviewed.
  • reviews may be brief (one or two paragraphs) or relatively long (two to three pages).

Of the thousands of books published each year, most receive only one or two reviews, or are not reviewed at all. A book whose content is controversial, or one written by a well-known author, may receive a disproportionate number of reviews. Books with political content are often reviewed in publications which represent differing points of view on the political spectrum (left, right, centre).

Major review publications

Browse the publications below for some current examples of books reviews - fiction and non-fiction.