When writing reviews, LKL usually gives star ratings to the books / films / CDs we write about. It’s just a bit of fun really, and not meant to be at all scientific. Over time we might go back and give ratings to all the books etc that we’ve reviewed over the years.
The ratings are entirely subjective, and go from 0 () to 5 stars (), in increments of a half. Obviously 5 stars is the best and equates to 10 out of 10.
The ratings are basically a reflection of how much enjoyment we got from reading the book, watching the film or listening to the CD, and consequently how much we would recommend the experience to another generalist person in the street. The ratings are not meant to be a reflection on the quality of academic research, standard of cinematography, literary excellence or virtuosity of the lead vocalist. So we might give top marks to a piece of airport pulp fiction that we found really enjoyable; and conversely we might give low marks to a work of acknowledged literary merit because, well, it left us cold.
Because we’re a little pedantic, we do knock marks off for poor English / bad proofreading in a book, or out-of-tune singing on a CD. And because some of us have an inferiority complex, where an academic book is written in an unnecessarily impenetrable academic style we generally mark it down. Maybe once or twice we give something a higher mark than is merited by the enjoyment we derived from it: that’s because we know that we should appreciate the thing. A typical example might be the films of Hong Sang Soo, which we generally give 7 or 8 out of 10: if we didn’t know we were supposed to like them we’d probably give them a 4 or a 5 out of 10.
Two and a half stars / 5 out of 10 () is very much borderline. Two stars or less means that we’re warning you not to waste your money.
The little stars plugin is courtesy of Daniel Schick.