Monday, January 30, 2006

Thus Quoth The Maven

Quotations on book covers tend to be stale strings of adjectives: "powerful", or "thrilling", or my favourite, "unputdownable". Sometimes, however, a reviewer will go that extra yard and come up with a sentence that puts the other quotations to shame. Ladies and gentlemen, from the fly leaf of the paperback edition of Tim Willock's Bad City Blues, I give you the following recommendation:
"Willocks writes like the Archangel Gabriel using a pen that's been dipped in the devil's semen." - Loaded
Brilliant. I not only want to read the book, but I'd like to see all reviewers adopt this mode.
"John Banville writes like a savage who, having learned a rudimentary alphabet from tinned spaghetti labels, runs a missionary through with his spear and uses the blood to scrawl his darkest imaginings on the body of a fallen zebra." - Lord Melvyn Bragg, The Times
"Tim Winton writes with such extraordinary flair and passion that he simply must be one of the undead, risen from the grave, pen dripping with gore, desperate to show us how to understand ourselves, or at least how to cook a decent brain stew." - Peter Craven, The Age


At 4:05 PM, Blogger Tim said...

The undead, of course, are renowned for their flair and passion.

At 4:30 PM, Blogger JPW said...

I don't pay attention to cover blurbs anymore, unless the cover blurb contains the term "tour de force", in which case I know instantly that I shan't ever be buying that book.

At 4:48 PM, Blogger Tim said...

My favourite is the old paperback edition of Iain Banks's The Wasp Factory, which includes quotations from positive and negative reviews.

At 5:35 PM, Blogger JPW said...

Yeah! I think I've got that same edition, and it reminds me of the good/bad reviews on the back of 'A Reader's Manifesto' by B.R. Myers, which, if you have not yet read it, I strongly encourage you to. It's probably one of my favourite things ever. Extract of the article that grew into the book can be found here (you useta be able to read the whole article but it looks like those pricks at The Atlantic got greedy):

At 8:20 PM, Blogger Caz said...

WTF, is all I can contribute after reading such bilge.

PS - they are all a tad fond of mixing their metaphors, aren't they? Never let it be said that they were at a loss for a 12 pack of metaphors, often in a single sentence.

PPS - are you quite sure these "blurbs" were intended as compliments?


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