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