a doubtful compliment

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The Context:

I heard a reader observe, after finishing one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s books, “How well it is written!”I thought it a doubtful compliment. It should have been so well written that the reader would not have been conscious of the writing at all.
---by John Burroughs

Does the author mean that those words (How well it is written!) may not be seen as a real compliment because they suggest that the book is in fact not so good, as the reader is still conscious of its writing?

In this case, can I paraphrase it like this---I doubted whether it was a real compliment?
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