aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Cheater-pants use of reviews

Henry Alford has a column called "Genius" in Sunday's Times Book Review on "misblurbing." His says that "some say publishers are becoming only more brazen." The title is inspired by a Random House ad for Charles Frazier's THIRTEEN MOONS that used the one-word quote "Genius," attributed to Lev Grossman at Time--when the line came from a pre-pub piece that "included the sentence 'Frazier works on an epic scale, but his genius is in the details." The article quotes Random's Tom Perry as saying, "We were being very short and punchy," adding, "we have limited space."

The practice isn't new. The article says Jonathan Yardley of The Washington Post, in 1982 panned Shirley Conran’s “Lace” — calling it a “schlock novel” written with “transparent and exquisite cynicism” — contained the following sentences: “Conran knows all the names, brand and otherwise, and she certainly knows where and when to drop them. ‘Lace’ doesn’t sink under the weight of them, it soars — right up into the same stratosphere where you’ll find ‘Valley of the Dolls’ and ‘Scruples.’ ” "Sleepily pawing through the newspapers after the review ran, he was startled to come across an advertisement for the novel emblazoned with the following testimonial: " 'It soars!' — Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post.""

Read more here. Do you have any good examples of misblurbing?

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Tags: genius?
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