October 29, 2009


What a funny word. Sometimes I just like to say "blurb." Blurb, blurb, blurb...

Booking Through Thursday's question this week is about blurbs you find irresistible. They're talking about certain words or phrases that get you to pick up a book, but for me they don't really work that way. I think I've already picked up the book because I've heard or read about it or am familiar with the author. I think I tend to be ore impressed by the writer of the blurb and even then it would have to be more than one. And it has to be for that book! Many times a writer will get some great blurbs for an earlier book that the publisher keeps slapping on every subsequent book. I hate that.

But if I turn over a book and it has four or five glowing blurbs from authors I respect it definitely adds something.

NOT review blurbs from other media. I don't even glance at those. It always cracks me up that a publisher puts something like three pages of these kind of blurbs in genre paperbacks. "THRILLING!" -Kansas Tribune. Really? The entire staff of the Kansas Trib found this series mystery "thrilling?" It's one word for crying out loud. How do I know it didn't come from a sentence that said "This formulaic nonsense was thrilling in it's ineptitude!"

So no, most blurbs don't work on me and certain words or phrases don't have much impact. Of course, the best one I've read lately is from Phil Plait's new one which is in fact on my To Be Read pile. Daniel H. Wilson said of it:

"Reading this book is like being punched in the face by Carl Sagan. Frightening, yet oddly exhilarating."

Now that's a blurb!


C.B. James said...

I thought the blurb was the little summary on the back of the paperback that tells you what the book's about. Oh, well. I rarely even read the "Blurb" from other authors or newspapers at all. For me, that little summary better be good or I won't buy it.

eveningreader said...

Now that IS a blurb! I too always imagine those newspaper review blurbs are taken completely out of context. I also hate when they just put stars in quotes, like a blurb.

Blurb. Blurb. It's also fun to type!

gautami tripathy said...

I don't like snippets by other authors in the blurb.

Booking through Blurbs

Teacherninja said...

C.B., maybe you're right. I thought it was those quotes from other authors/reviews. Maybe it means all promotional copy on the jacket. I've heard authors speak of "blurbing" other authors and such, so just made the assumption it was only the quotes.

eveningreader, Thanks, it is funny to type.

guatami, Well most of us die-hard readers have better ways of choosing books than promotional copy.

Thanks for the comments!

MotherReader said...

My favorite blurb - that made me have to read the book - was "Anne of Green Gables meets Heart of Darkness." Okay, that I had to read.

DanielLoxton said...

That is one heck of a blurb, but I'm afraid I can't take credit for it. Amazon attributes it to Daniel H. Wilson, author of How to Survive a Robot Uprising.

Teacherninja said...

MotherReader--What book was that for!?!

Daniel--I'll edit that right away. I should know better than try to attribute something from memory. Thanks for the comment, it was a great pleasure meeting you at Dragon*Con!