Much ado about nothing review

With a mix of amusement and dismay, I read your review of my book The Fred de Vries Interviews.

With a mix of amusement and dismay, I read your review of my book The Fred de Vries Interviews.

Your writer attempted to say that the book of interviews and its launch were much ado about nothing, and that it is overrated. And he wanted to say that he had read other, allegedly better interviews with DJ Kenzhero.

All fair. But it had very little to do with a review. He did not write that the book has 39 interviews with marginal poets like Yabadaka Shamah and populist singers like Steve Hofmeyr and established politicians like Helen Zille.

In other words, a wide-ranging section of the population.

He wrote nothing about the coherence of the interviews, or lack of it. Or about interview techniques and style of writing, whether it worked or not.

He squeezed in a bit about the Abdullah Ibrahim debacle, but forgot to say why the interview only took 10 minutes and why it was nevertheless lauded as an excellent piece of writing that laid bare a lot about interviewing, interviewees and the vulnerabilities of the interviewer.

These are things one expects from a respectable paper. Making snide remarks is easy and doing a hatchet job is great, as long as it's done on the basis of proper analysis and comes with a bit of context and knowledge. Or it's just shoddy journalism.

Fred de Vries, Auckland Park

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