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Literary Criticism: How to Find It: Find Book Reviews

Book Reviews vs. Literary Criticism

Book Reviews vs. Literary Criticism

Book reviews are generally evaluative whereas criticism is an exploration of the ideas in a work. In other words, a book review is meant to tell you if a book is good or bad, and whether you should read it (or buy it) or not. Criticism is more of a serious analysis of some aspect of a work, whether the work be good or bad. Reviews of literary works are usually not written by scholars, while criticism is almost always written by scholars.

One of the simplest ways of distinguishing book reviews from literary criticism is the time of publication of the review/critical article compared to the original publication date of the book. Book reviews tend to be written around the time the book was published, while literary criticism will be published in later years.

Online Sources for Reviews of Newer Books

Online Sources for Reviews of Older Books

Print Sources

Print Sources for Early Reviews & Criticism

Edgar Allan Poe


"English Literary Periodicals"

This set of microfilms gives access to every literary periodical published in Great Britain from 1681 through 1914. These are some of the best sources for literary criticism and book reviews on early British literary works. This set is not available electronically and can only be accessed on microfilm.

Call number: MF 943 (1st Floor, Microfilm cases)

To make the best use of this set, refer to the book Accessing English Literary Periodicals: A Guide to the Microfilm Collection with Title, Subject, Editor, and Reel Number Indexes, call number: Z692 S5 U56 - 1st Floor (Oversized Books)

The microfilm reader is on the 4th Floor of Gumberg Library. Page images can be saved to a flash drive as PDFs.