Monday, July 10, 2006

Book Reviews (Part 1)

As an author, it doesn't take you long to learn all about The Power of the Review.

Your publisher will happily confirm that a "good" review in a major newspaper such as The Sydney Morning Herald or The Australian or The Age, will help boost sales. And often it will result in follow up calls by other media outlets wanting interviews or apperances which, in turn, help push up sales further, which in turn ... You know what I mean. Besides, a good review makes the author feel very, very happy. Happy enough to go off and share his thoughts with other bloggers.

On the other hand, I was warned, a "bad" review can sometimes (but not always) destroy a book. Not quite what you want to hear when you are new to this game. I gather that a bad review can mean your book gets pushed to the back of the shelves quicker than you can say, publish and be damned. And it will make the author very cross and very depressed and generally, very pissed off.

But apparently nothing compares to not getting a review at all. Full stop. Nada. In effect, having your book thoroughly and totally ignored by those whose job it is to tell the rest of us what we should and shouldn't be reading.

This a fate that befalls the vast majority of books, given that in Australia alone, somewhere between 60 and 80 new books - local as well as imported - will be published and marketed every week. The papers will only have room for half a dozen to 10 reviews at most in their weekly books pages, so the chances of getting your book reviewed are pretty slim to begin with. It also means that just getting your book reviewed (even if the end result isn't all that positive), is considered a major achievement in its own right. Pathetic? Probably, but that's the way it works out here in BookLand.

Anyway, this is a rather long preface to the purpose of today's blog, which is to share with you bits and pieces from a review of Child of the Revolution that appeared in The Sunday Tasmanian on Sunday, 9 July. This is the main newspaper in Tasmania, the smallest of the Australian states and a truly beautiful place. The paper has a readership of about 152,000, which is pretty good for a population of about 470,000.

This was not my first review. I am in the lucky position of having had my book reviewed by just about every major newspaper in the country, which makes me fell rather good. In fact, if you visit my webpage
you will find a summary (and links) to earlier reviews. I will post some of them here later, too. I am happy to report that so far, all the reviews have been "good". And yes, I can just about recite off the top of my head the best bits from the best reviews, but only if you insist. Go on, insist ... Anyway, it's a great party trick.

Back to The Sunday Tasmanian. In its review, the paper described the book as "a compelling story", which I think is a good start, before highlighting how Child of the Revolution deals with some of the inconsistencies and absurdities of life in communist Cuba back then. "It is also an entertaining story as (Garcia) explores the absurd gaps between rhetoric and reality," the review adds before concluding as follows:

Garcia has done his best to take the romance and myth out of the revolution and ridicule Fidel, but his love for the land of sultry music, hot nights and street carnivals shines through.

No complaints from me, except for the bit about doing my best to take the romance out of the Revolution. I didn't do that. Castro did that all by himself.




**Cuba, I Remember You is a book about family, love, relationships, and survival in difficult circumstances that all readers will find to be a wonderful reading experience.

Bettie Corbin Tucker
For IP Book Reviewers
Independent Professional Reviewers

See more about the book at:

A collection of 14 short stories, all in Spanish and English, based on the author’s experiences of childhood before and after the Communist revolution. Includes Appendix for educators wishing to use the book in Spanish or English foreign language classes. Lots of nostalgia for those who knew Cuba in the 50’s and 60’s and plenty of humor for readers in general. Includes also many period family photographs that illustrate the stories and bring them vividly to life!

About the Author
Dr. Oscar M. Ramírez-Orbea, was born in Camagüey, Cuba, in 1955. He emigrated with his family to the US in 1966, after completing elementary school in his home country. He longs one day to return to his native city of Camagüey and to all the fond memories it holds for him. CUBA, I REMEMBER YOU/CUBA, TE RECUERDO is Dr. Ramírez’s first narrative work.

Available now from Airleaf Publishing ( or call today to order your copy at 1-800-342–6068.

§ Product Details
§ Paperback: 392 pages
§ Publisher: Airleaf Publishing; 1st edition (January 10, 2006)
§ Language: English, Spanish
§ ISBN: 1594539553

New work by the same author, published and in bookstores by winter of 2007:

Cuba, Between History and Legend
A collection of short stories based on Cuban legends and unusual histories, all told in thoroughly original and creative ways. All stories are narrated in English and Spanish on facing pages. Includes also substantial background information on the actual events on which the stories are based, as well as references for follow-up reading, and historical illustrations for all the stories. For brief descriptions of the stories, go to On the market by year’s end. Cuba … like you’ve never read it before!

Por el mismo autor:

Cuba, Entre la Historia y la Leyenda
Una colección de cuentos cortos basados en leyendas cubanas y en eventos insólitos de la historia de Cuba, todos narrados en un estilo originalísimo y de gran fantasía. Se narran todos los cuentos en inglés y en español, en páginas opuestas. Incluye considerable información adicional sobre el fondo histórico de cada cuento, al igual que sugerencias para otras lecturas sobre la misma temática, y se incluyen ilustraciones históricas de cada uno de los cuentos. Para leer breves descripciones de cada cuento, favor de dirgirse a En venta hacia finales del año. Cuba ¡como nunca te la imaginaste!

2:57 pm  

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