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A review usually appears within a year or two of a book's publication. Some reviews are long and scholarly, and can provide important information about a book's style, quality, and the credentials of the author. Other reviews may just give a summary of a book's content and plot; in either case, a review is a contemporary, critical reaction to a book, often reflecting the reviewer's own tastes or that of the prevailing current critical opinion.
Reviews are distinct from the more in-depth analysis of literary criticism, which usually appears long after a book's publication.
To find a book review, it is important to know:
- author's full name
- title of the book
- year of publication
- The great majority of books are never reviewed at all.
- Reviews do not always appear the same year in which the book was published. You may have to check indexes for a year or two following the publication date.
- Indexes and databases usually cover certain dates. If your book was written in 1925, for example, you will need to use an index to sources that include that date.
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