The Lethean Library, for all its incalculable volumes, is, I know, sadly incomplete without Mr. Goodman's effort.
The American critic Dale Peck, author of Hatchet Jobs (2004), argues that reviewing finds its true character in critical GBH such as Fischer's [review of Martin Amis's Yellow Dog]. It represents a return to the prehistoric origins of reviewing in Zoilism - a kind of pelting of pretentious literature with dung, lest the writers get above themselves; it is to the novelist what the gown of humiliation was to the Roman politician - a salutary ordeal. Less grandly, bad reviews are fun, so long as you are not the author. There is, it must be admitted, a kind of furtive blood sport pleasure in seeing a novelist suffer. You read on. Whereas most of us stop reading at the first use of the word 'splendid' or 'marvellous' in a review.