Spoiler Reviews Need To Stop

Would everyone please share this article?  Book/film reviews impact what I buy, more than literary achievement cited by critics.  But the art of the “précis” is so poorly understood, I’m forced to avoid them!  I honestly cover paragraphs with my hand to skim to the point:  did you like it or not?   Most reviews are spoilers.

A description is for gauging genre, not a huge synopsis.  Is this a protagonist or subject we would read?  Give a feel for what a story is.  Never tell HOW IT GOES.  Withholding the end doesn’t mean you haven’t ruined a novel!  We don’t want to know there’s a mysterious letter or telephone call.  Detailing how action starts, is as bad as blurting how everything ends.

Let’s exemplify 1986 film “Labyrinth” starring David Bowie and future Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly.  An appropriate summary or précis merely needs to say:
An infant disappears from his sister’s care.  In the labyrinth of a perilous world, she must dodge a time-limited spell to retrieve him“.

A review can conclude with an unrevealing reaction.
I was enchanted with the whole film;  so full of quirky detail, I will watch again and again.  Locating a baby would be tough without magic hovering in the way.  The soundtrack itself should be collected as a David Bowie classic“.

Amazon / Book Depository summaries should be this succinct.  Discussions are fun but belong to reading circles.  Unfortunately those who elaborate most, are at the top of shopping websites!  There’s nowhere to protest except the feedback button:  “no this was not helpful”.

A poor description re-tells a chunk of action.  We shouldn’t know:  “gobblins empty the crib”.  The next link illustrates terrible blabbing of numerous scenes!  The eager poster was unaware:  advance detail isn’t what a summary is for.


We deserve to be 100% surprised by our entertainment, to discover each part.  If you’ve done reviews, it’s worth returning to omit similar give-aways.

This product page is a spoiler!  But the first comment warns the blu-ray has no actor interviews.  Since I want those, she has saved me money.  Aiding a decision is the point of a review.  http://www.amazon.ca/Labyrinth-Labyrinthe-Blu-ray-David-Bowie/dp/B002I9TYQC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1335544129&sr=8-2


About RIEDEL Fascination

I cherish animals, plants, reading, music and free spirituality. I welcome you for articles, literary activities, and interaction! Surrounding ourselves with good people is a delight. I occasionally review at The Book Depository.
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7 Responses to Spoiler Reviews Need To Stop

  1. laurenwaters says:

    I loved the Labyrinth! Such a great movie. I also skip over the spoiler alerts when I’m shopping for a book. It seems that reviews exist more for discussion after reading these days. Reviewers should at least put spoiler alert on their reviews to warn people.

  2. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out says:

    I agree with you though sometimes there is a fine line between a spoiler and a valid point of discussion that needs making. I do try very hard not to spoil things though

    • Welcome Shelley! I’m honoured someone so busy commented! Relieved there’s no offense since your synopsis go in depth. I’ve long sought a place to talk books, lately annoying techniques in a Susan Wittig Albert series that is excellent. I admire that you stop to analyse your reading. Let’s not give anything away where people hope to buy, Amazon / Book Depository. Maybe I can risk a discussion in my blog, if I warn at the top of each?

  3. Dawne Webber says:

    I’ve learned not to read reviews until after I’ve read the book because I sometimes unwittingly let the review (or even the number of stars it’s rated) influence me before I read the book or watch the movie.

  4. Thanks for the article on reviews. I just recently started writing them. When I write I try to think what would make buy a book. If it is a bok in a series I try to let the readers know what the characters are doing. I do give the start of the book; try to leave something that is helpful. Amazon says I had 106 likes out 124 comments.
    When I select a book to buy I look at reviews and read both good and bad. I well read several reviews. I checked to see how many books that author has written and their reviews. Nothing turns me off on a book that has

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