Home » Reasonably true » What blurb is this?

What blurb is this?

My imaginary fan keeps insisting on more how-to posts, hence this, on how to interpret book blurbs.

On the back of every book* you will find helpful comments and short reviews of the contents, so you can make a wiser decision whether to read it or not.  My investigative unit, however, has discovered that these reviews are not always what they seem.  For example, sometimes quotes are shortened, and meanings can be subtly changed by elision.  Here are some comments overheard at a local Starbucks; see if you can pick out what parts might end up as book blurbs:

“That book was horrible.  I’d rather be riveting my eyeballs shut than read it again.”

“I’ll say, I couldn’t put it down fast enough when I tried to read it!”

“If I were a real barn burner, I’d throw that book in with it.”

Another Tolstoy, he ain’t!”

If you don’t read another book this year, it’ll be because you read this one.”
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*An ancient medium consisting of bits of paper and ink bound together.

5 thoughts on “What blurb is this?

  1. an imaginary fan, huh? I wonder if I can find those at Target?

    These are great – made my morning!

    How ’bout (to add to your collection): “after his conviction, in abstentia, of unspeakable crimes against humanity, the poet has produced his SECOND book of verse”? 🙂

  2. Ooh, now that is some fine eavesdropping! You’ve also managed, via the title, to plant an ear worm that is, alas, more carol than ballad with the 2nd line being, of course: “that laid to rest…” Very clever, indeed!

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