Lately, there’s been buzz around the Internet and in the news about author blurbs. One thing that’s turned it into such a hot topic is a blurb by author Nicole Krauss for fellow author David Grossman’s book, To the End of the Land. It apparently is so effusive that people are laughing and even mocking it.
According to The New York Observer, this is how the blurb starts:
Very rarely, a few times in a lifetime, you open a book and when you close it again nothing can ever be the same. Walls have been pulled down, barriers broken, a dimension of feeling, of existence itself, has opened in you that was not there before.It seems to get even more over the top with phrases like:
look inside a person and discover the unique essence of her humanityIf you want to read the full blurb, link over to The Gawker.
And for more opinion on Krauss’ blurb and blurbs in general, check out Laura Miller’s Salon post. Here are a couple of comments from her:
What I take from this is when you read the blurb on the back of a book, take it with a grain of salt. Sometimes they’re sincere, sometimes they’re hyperbole. It also tells me that if you’re an author and you get a fantabulous blurb from a fellow author, think twice about putting it on the back of your book. You may feel that such high praise will sell books, but will it? Maybe. It does help to have a blurb from a big name author, but your book better live up to the praise or you’ll lose readers.Everyone seems to hate the process, from the authors who are compelled to plead for blurbs to the publishing professionals who have to lash their authors onto it, to the blurbers themselves, who often wind up walking a knife's edge between honesty and generosity. It stands to reason that, if many blurbs are bestowed for extraliterary reasons like friendship or professional collegiality, then many of them are insincere….But overall, blurbs just aren't very meaningful. Yet, apart from a minority of skeptics, much of the public still seems to take them at face value. One British publisher claims to have seen research showing that as many as 62 percent of book buyers choose titles on the basis of blurbs
Will Grossman’s book really live up to Krauss’s praise?
To read it is to have yourself taken apart, undone, touched at the place of your own essence; it is to be turned back, as if after a long absence, into a human being.Do author blurbs influence you when you’re shopping for a book?