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Jan 27, 2010 06:38 AM

Does anyone find Sifton readable?

I want to like him, I really do. I look forward to the NYT reviews every Wednesday. But here I sit again, scratching my head. What is this guy thinking? I can't explain it, there's just something strange about the cadence of his writing, the weird pop culture references, ugh. It's been a few months now and I thought he would settle down. This was the best candidate to replace Bruni?

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    1. Argh, today it took him 12 PARAGRAPHS to get to any discussion of the food. 12 grafs of dubious sociological insights and the detailed history of a London restaurant that I bet barely a handful of readers will have visited and/or care about. Who is editing this guy? He is single-handedly dismantling the power of the NYT review, week after week. He's like kryptonite, weaking the prestige of the paper with every column. Why don't the other critics, led by Michiko Kakutani with a sharpened pen, take him behind the building and give him a talking-to? IT makes this lifelong subscriber very sad.

      1. His style is forced and off-putting. His writing tries to poetic and in doing so, he forgets his main goal: to give us the facts. He tries too hard to be hip and cool and comes off as pretentious and does not give any useful information to a potential diner.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ttoommyy

          I've knocked him (albeit with a fair bit of sadness) in other threads, but I think he may finally be hitting his stride. His piece this morning about eating in Vancouver is beautifully written, and smart, without his usual empty affectation. And I'm starving after reading it. I wonder if it's because a piece about Vancouver doesn't matter in the usual ways: NYC isn't going to be close-reading it as much as they do his reviews so he's relaxed. Anyway, I'm hoping he can channel this tone into what he does every week.

          1. re: pimentdespelette

            No central dining review today from Sifton--are they easing him off the beat and into more general feature writing? We can only hope...

            1. re: newhavener07

              His articles for the Magazine are enjoyable, I think he's just not particularly suited to the reviewer slot.