― Prude (Prude), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 06:54 (sixteen years ago) link
Much like this post! What a shithead.
― Prude (Prude), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 06:59 (sixteen years ago) link
― Cupie (Cupie), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 15:42 (sixteen years ago) link
― scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 16:33 (sixteen years ago) link
― pete s, Tuesday, 20 January 2004 16:49 (sixteen years ago) link
What does "Tour De Force" literally mean anyway?
― LondonLee (LondonLee), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 16:59 (sixteen years ago) link
― quincie, Tuesday, 20 January 2004 17:14 (sixteen years ago) link
― Ann Sterzinger (Ann Sterzinger), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 18:04 (sixteen years ago) link
― o. nate (onate), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 18:20 (sixteen years ago) link
― R bunged V (Jake Proudlock), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 19:12 (sixteen years ago) link
― Jessa (Jessa), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 19:38 (sixteen years ago) link
― writingstatic (writingstatic), Wednesday, 21 January 2004 00:23 (sixteen years ago) link
However, it does happen, every now and then, that I happen upon a book with favorable words from one or more authors I respect, oftentimes writers who don't necessarily appear very often on the backs of books. I haven't been steered wrong, for example, by a Brodkey blurb, or (much farther back) by Eliot's fairly impeccable selection of literary causes. Coover is also pretty reliable. Gass is, Elkin is. Lydia Davis is. Hawkes hated seemingly everything, including his own students' and friends' work, so you know to trust him if he's nice. (Whereas Pynchon, incidentally, is becoming less and less reliable, as he becomes more prolific in his blurbing, and the McSweeney's crew can't be trusted at all, at all, at all.)
On another note, as regards critics, the "famously testy" Ms. Kakutani is much more reliable than, say, Birkerts, who blathers often irresponsibly, Kakutani seems almost consciously to avoid writing anything quotable by a publisher unless she actually has a favorable opinion. Watch how the faint praise is derailed at every turn, how it's difficult to cobble together a subject, object, and verb in any convincing way. I don't necessarily agree with her opinions most of the time, but I usually trust that she meant them if I find them somewhere.
― Matthew K (mtk), Wednesday, 21 January 2004 16:21 (sixteen years ago) link
I enjoy seeing the connections that get made by blurbs, but do hate the puffery. And the now-requisite 3-4 pages quoting praise at the front of trade pbk eds. of phenomenon books is really annoying.
― Robomonkey (patronus), Thursday, 22 January 2004 17:52 (sixteen years ago) link
― Snotty Moore, Saturday, 24 January 2004 03:33 (sixteen years ago) link
I tend to look more at the publishing houses as opposed to the blurbs, if I'm looking for a new author - sounds snobbish, I know, but I've been pretty happy with the vast majority of the works published by Vintage (with the exception of their crime/mystery label, which I think needs to re-evaluate some of their authors) that I've read. I partcularly like their Vintage International and Vintage Contemporaries collections. Also, I tend to like Library of America publications.
― I'm Passing Open Windows (Ms Laura), Saturday, 24 January 2004 05:15 (sixteen years ago) link
thanks for the effort, barry
― mookieproof, Thursday, 14 May 2020 00:37 (one week ago) link
I read blurbs. I like blurbs. They are often entertaining for their comical inarticulateness, especially the parades of one word superlatives. Whichever marketing genius culls these and slaps them on a book clearly thinks that a book which may be anywhere from 75,000 to 500,000 words can be summed up as "Stunning!" "Remarkable!" "Exquisite!" "Hilarious!"
Then, in among the cheap snippets that are like flecks of drool flung willy-nilly from the jowls of a St. Bernard dog as it shakes its ponderous head, or the dutifully ceremonial comments churned out by Kirkus Reviews, one sometimes finds genuinely admiring and perceptive commentaries or droll appreciations that, amazingly, convince me that the book was able to interest someone with the intellect and ability to read it in depth. Those are rare, but always helpful.
― A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 14 May 2020 03:35 (one week ago) link
I would have frankly been scared to ask Malzberg for a blurb.
― Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Friday, 15 May 2020 09:29 (one week ago) link