Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Amazon Reviews

The MFA Handbook's latest review on Amazon is three stars (we're holding at four and a half overall) and the writer makes a number of good points. The most interesting to me: "If you have a good professor or can talk to some folks who've done this, i'd save your money."

I wholeheartedly agree. If you know people in-the-know, then allow them to be your guide. If not, then do consider The MFA Handbook, as well as Amy Holman's Insider's Guide.

And if you've read either of these books, I know I'd -- and I'm sure Amy -- would appreciate your comments on Amazon,, or Powell's. Your insights will be helpful to future readers. Thanks in advance.


Avimaan said...

Without reading the post on Amazon, I just wanted to comment that my thesis advisor is on the advising board of a top 5 MFA program and he knew a fraction of what the Handbook recommends. In terms of do's and don'ts, a professor is just as good, but for scope and goals I think the Handbook is a wonderful tool for ans prospective student.

Gustavo said...

I agree with Avimaan. Also, I checked the more "critical" reviews, and it's sad to see that they simply misrepresent the content of the book. Their authors are either resentful for some reason (someone conjectured that they might resent the fact that their program is not ranked high enough), or just careless readers (come on, to say that the criteria Tom uses to rank programs is "confusing" is the silliest thing I've ever heard. You might not agree with his criteria, but to say they are confusing... Oh my...). This whole thing shouldn't be an issue, because these guys are making fools of themselves; that is, if you've read the book, you know those reviews simply speak poorly of their authors. The sad thing is that someone who hasn't read the book might bump into those reviews and take them at face value. (Just a clarification: I don't want to sound like a Kealey groupie/die-hard fan or whatever; I wouldn't mind constructive criticism of the book, but unfair criticism gets on my nerves).