Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Blurbs that make you go hmmm...

I had drafted a lengthy explanation of this post, but deleted it by mistake. Too late and too tired to do it again. In a nutshell, I'm railing against the book blurbs that I read time and time again; the ones that make me put a book back on the shelf. It's all personal, so these may be exactly the phrases that make you pick it up!

'...retiring LAPD detective...' Please, not another grouchy old guy who just wants to make it to tomorrow and his pension, but first he has to get the bad guy out of the way
'...race to save the world...' Sorry, but it's been saved so many times that the paint is peeling off.
'...coming of age...' Not averse to this as a topic, but if you offer me a hero or a heroine in a certain age range in a certain range of situations, I can figure this out for myself.
'...tall, dark, brooding stranger...' The world appears to be full of these.

More to come! Add yours!

Real life update

If a poodle puppy eats a green pencil, its poo will be green. I like to be informative.


Sarah said...

If a mutt with a mouth of steel eats a cactus garden and a bright blue plastic toy, his poop will be bright blue. Though the full-sized pink blanket didn't come out pink. But the strings from the string toy did come out, um, stringy and caused much distress when the string did not fully discharge.

Yeah, cliches in the blurbs should be outlawed.

Robin S. said...

Poor Polly! And poor Mom, for that matter - 'cause we all know who th eone-woman cleanup committee is. At least it is in my house.

I'll be searching blurbs for lazy schmaltz for ya.

McKoala said...

Gulp. Sarah that's quite a mutt.

I have a friend who paid $700 to an emergency vet, because her dog was apparently in agony, only to receive a diagnosis of: constipation. One poop and pup was all better.

Not Polly, Robin, but one of her puppy friends. Polly prefers fridge magnets. I suspect that soon we will be able to stick the fridge to her stomach.

Blurb it up!

Sarah said...

That was my first pound puppy. He could eat anything - and did - without a single trip to the vet to fix it. My girlfriend's dog, on the other hand, had his stomach pumped three times the first year she had him.

Blurb: A romance book that uses the words "...happily ever after is a fairy tale..."
Hint: It's an EE selection. And the statements that precede this are all cliches.

Robin S. said...

Here are some blurbs for ya- from the back covers of what I refer to as my "airport reading" row of books. (I bought them in airports, desperate for something to while away my time with on a flight kinda thing.)

"...Someone will stop at nothing to..."

" unthinkable crime..."

"he's tied to the case by shocking secrets from his past..."

I guess these must work, in a formulaic way, so readers know what to expect, especially in places where they're trapped (like in airplanes).

McKoala said...

So many books, so many cliches! The blogging agents warn us against them - quite rightly - but who's warning the publisher's blurb department?!

Robin, I think that's a good poing. If you want to read the same kind of story again and again, then maybe the cliches work in that scenario? I suspect that my own dear husby would not put the cliched blurb back on the shelf, but rush to the checkout with it!

Sarah said...

Maybe blurbs have to be cliches so that you get a world of universal meaning in a very tight space. Also the writing in the book should not pale in comparison to the back cover.

But wouldn't it be nice to have a sense of what's really inside from the blurb. I've seen far too many that showed me the blurb author didn't read the book.

Ello said...

I am in a race to save the world from a tall dark brooding man who is coming of age into a retired LAPD cop. Does that work better for you?

How's the book! I want to hear more about it!

Robin S. said...

Damn. Blogger ate a long long comment of mine.

McKoala said...

If you write that book, Ello, I will not buy it!