Monday, February 13, 2006

We're chained

If you think the In Club gets a better deal than you, then you are right, if you are a writer at least. The Grumpy Old Bookman relates a tale of how UK journalists always write nice book reviews of each other's books in hopes of getting similar treatment in the future. In this case Michael Dibdin wrote a scathing review of a journalist's book and when asked to change his viewpoint, he published it in another paper!

The NYT has a brief bit on blurbs by disgraced writers James Frey and JT Leroy. Where they once were a possible selling point, they may now be a reason not to buy the book. I'm not sure how important the blurbs are. I look for lots of blurbs by people whose books or writing I respect. Having one Frey among other good ones would not be a problem for me. So often the blurbs are forumlaic and uninteresting. For example on Lee Hogan's Belarus (first book I grabbed from the pile) we have "Richly Imagined." Hmm, can't say I'm sold. Then you get ones like this from Jonathan Lethem

"This demonically brilliant book is impossible to ignore, put down, or persuasively conclude reading. In fact, when you purchase your copy you may reach a certain page and find me there, reduced in size like Vincent Price in The Fly, still trapped in the web of its malicious, beautiful pages."

Now that's a blurb. Of course it is for the House of Leaves, which I didn't finish, but it's still a good blurb.


Anonymous said...

Huh, what?! Did you got tired of turning the book round and round and upside down to read?

Tripp said...

That certainly did not help. Nor did the lengthy joke footnotes.