<em>The Twitter Review</em>, anyone?

By Megan McArdle

[Daniel Drezner]

Kevin Drum posts some notes he cobbled together for a review of Lee Siegel's latest God-awful attempt to rationalize his loathing of the Internet book, Against the Machine (in the end, he decided the book wasn't worthy of review).

Amidst his notes is perhaps the best one-sentence summary of the book yet: "Like a long Andy Rooney segment, except not as coherent."

I wonder if the rise of twittering as perhaps the briefest form of literature known to man could lead to a new kind of book review. Rather than have a book reviewed by a single person in 1000 words or less, what would it look like if 40 different reviewes offered 25 words or less?

In some ways, this kind of review style already exists, with book and movie blurbs and sites like Rotten Tomatoes. Still, those blurbs are extracted from larger reviews. It would be interesting to see how critics would respond to such a constrained word count.

What better way to test this proposition than guest-posting on a blog? As an experiment, readers are encouraged to write a twitter-style review -- 25 word or less -- of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Based on my own reactions to the book (and Megan's, for that matter), my twitter review would read:

The weakest of the series, with the logically fragile plot stranded -- literally -- in the woods for long stretches. A definitive ending, however.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2008/04/-lt-em-gt-the-twitter-review-lt-em-gt-anyone/3175/