Such an admission might earn a jaundiced laugh from Jonathan Yardley of The Washington Post, whose 1982 pan of Shirley Conran’s “Lace” — what Yardley called a “schlock novel” written with “transparent and exquisite cynicism” — contained the following sentences: “Conran knows all the names, brand and otherwise, and she certainly knows where and when to drop them. ‘Lace’ doesn’t sink under the weight of them, it soars — right up into the same stratosphere where you’ll find ‘Valley of the Dolls’ and ‘Scruples.’ ” Sleepily pawing through the newspapers after the review ran, he was startled to come across an advertisement for the novel emblazoned with the following testimonial: “ ‘It soars!’ — Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post.”The rest of the article is filled with similar "misblurbs" created by publishers and authors who seem to have little shame when it comes to misleading the public. Self-policing has obviously failed to curb this less than honest (and insulting) trend.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
The NY Times Sunday Book Review has an interesting article called "Literary Misblurbing" this week. Here's one example of what has always been common in movie advertising and seems to be happening more and more in book ads: