How much are you influenced by the blurb on the back of a book? Not much, according to Colin Dwyer. And rightly so. George Orwell back in 1936 spoke of “the disgusting tripe that is written by the blurb-reviewers,” and the shocking news to us innocent readers is that people write those blurbs without even reading the book. They do! The novelist Gary Shteyngart, a prolific writer of blurbs, happily admits it:
“I can figure things out pretty quickly. I’ll look at a first sentence, I’ll look at the cover and it just comes to me. Reading randomly from a book is also very helpful. Sometimes I try to read further — but you know, how far can you get? Does anyone even read these books anymore?”
That said, he doesn’t hold back.
“I’ve compared people to Shakespeare, Tolstoy or whatever,” he says. “I’ll do anything.”
Seeing there are no holds barred, here are some of Gert’s suggestions for blurbs from big names. Feel free to use them.
God: a worldbeater
Queen Victoria: we laughed ourself legless
Paris Hilton: like, awesome
Dracula: scared the pants off me
Donald Duck: a quacker
George W. Bush: a completely baffling mystery
Frank Sinatra: brought me to tears
Jack the Ripper: not for the faint-hearted
Gore Vidal: almost as good as my books
the Dalai Lama: like, awesome