The critics on the web who called for editor Steve Wasserman to step down at the LA Times Book Review have been strangely quiet since David Ulin took over in October. So far, the review is every bit as dull, forgetable and irrelevant as it was under Wasserman (though, thankfully, Eugen Weber has yet to reappear on the pages). But you’d never know it reading the blogs that were the most critical of Wasserman, particularly The Elegant Variation, which used to run a weekly, detailed critique of the book review section. The critique has been missing ever since Wasserman stepped down.
Are the former critics of the LATBR just giving Ulin time to find his footing? Or do their personal relationships with him prevent them from being critical? Or have they just stopped caring? Or was it really all about Wasserman?
I wonder if Ulin is still burning off articles/reviews commissioned before he took over — because I have yet to see any significant changes at the LATBR besides the section getting thinner and thinner. If there is an overhaul coming, I hope it happens soon. It would be nice to have a lively, provocative, and interesting book review section.