Friday, May 24, 2013

Beware of book blurbs

The Washington Post did not review Martin Amis' latest novel favorably, but the book blurb suggests otherwise

As book blurb whore/not whore Gary Shteyngart will tell you, writing book blurbs is an artform — but it’s also a bit of a farce.
As Washington Post fiction editor Ron Charles points out, the book blurb from the Washington Post on the front of Martin Amis’ “Lionel Asbo” (which Charles did not review favorably) is so disingenuous, it borders on lying:
Amis is one of the finest stylists alive, but I thought “Lionel Asbo” was a bad novel. A really bad novel. In fact, my review of “Lionel Asbo” was a finalist for the Hatchet Job — a prize given for the most negative book review of the year. And yet, on the new paperback — on the front cover, no less — appears this ringing endorsement from The Washington Post: “Amis is a force unto himself … There is, quite simply, no one else like him.”
All true. But caveat emptor. That line is drawn from a review of “London Fields” that my colleague Jonathan Yardley wrote … 23 years ago.


No comments: