Because nothing in art really happens until critics weigh in on it, I share with you this canonical list of reviews of “Paul Newman: A Life,” ranked, as one would rank them, from kindest to least kind.

As someone who plies the critical trade, I shan’t comment further. But I can tell you this: I see what my brothers and sisters in critique have done here, all of ’em.

“Book details Paul Newman’s charmed, and charming, ‘Life'” — USA Today, May 5

On Bookshelves: “Paul Newman: A Life” — Movieline, May 5

“‘Paul Newman,’ in Shawn Levy’s new biography, gets a rich, readable, respectful treatment” — Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 3

“Shawn Levy: ‘Paul Newman: A Life'” — Willamette Week, May 6

Publisher’s Weekly, March 30 (you need to scroll down a bit for it)

“Inside Track On Newman’s ‘Life'” — Hartford Courant, May 3

“Cool Hand Paul” — Chicago Sun-Times, May 3″

ALSO: A q-and-a interview which Ray Pride of Movie City News conducted with me via e-mail — May 6. (Here’s an altered and expanded version of this from the Chicago New City alt weekly.

ALSO: The Daily Mail of London has run four heavily edited (and, frankly, salaciously packaged and clumsily headlined) excerpts from the book. They are here: May 2, May 4, May 5, May 6. (I can’t really recommend these as good reads — if I’d wanted to rearrange my sentences the way these folks have, I’d’ve done so in the book — but they do offer fascinatingly strange examples of the way the tabloids and the English journalistic sensibility operate.)