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Old 11-25-2008, 05:09 PM   #1
Madam Broshkina
Manic Do Fuse
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Enough With the Sweet Talk

This is over a week old, but I somehow missed it. Joe Queenan had a pretty hilarious essay in the New York Times about book reviews that's well worth your time. Here is an excerpt.

There is nothing inherently unethical or immoral about a needlessly effusive notice, nor any reason to suspect that the reviewer is being pathetically servile because he seeks the author’s hand in marriage or expects similar treatment when his own book, “Would That the Khedive Had Not Overslept,” comes out in paperback. But such reviews are unfair to the reader, who may be horn*swoggled into thinking that Philip Marlowe really would tip his hat at the author, or that the author has gone toe-to-toe with Joseph Conrad and given the ornery old cuss a thrashing. Books are described as being “compulsively readable,” when they are merely “O.K.”; “jaw-droppingly good,” when they are actually “not bad”; “impossible to put down,” when they are really “no worse than the last three.” Authors are described as a cross between Madame de Staëland Arthur Conan Doyle, or are said to write like Charlotte Brontë on acid, or have out-Dostoyevskied Dostoyevsky and checkmated Euripides, when they are more of a cross between Candace Bushnell and Ngaio Marsh, or write like Willa Cather on Robitussin-DM, or have been narrowly out-Mavis Gallanted by Mavis Gallant, and were lucky to play Edna Ferber to a draw.
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:15 PM   #2
DixieGal
Hi There!
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"Willa Cather on Robitussin-DM"

Guffaw! Snort! Funniest of the Funny!
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