Thursday, May 28, 2009

Musing on a Book Description

Amazon.com: Gone Tomorrow (Jack Reacher, No. 13): Lee Child: Books: "In a novel that slams through one hairpin surprise after another, Lee Child unleashes a thriller that spans three decades and gnaws at the heart of America . . ."

I was thking about ordering Gone Tomorrow the other day, so I went over to Amazon and read the review and book description there.  The above sentence, however, didn't do a very good selling job.  I mean, how often have you been surprised by a hairpin?  And have you been surprised by one recently?  I don't even know if they make hairpins now.  I know my grandmother used them, but I haven't seen one in 50 years.  My mother used bobby pins occasionally, but that's different thing.  Or sort of different, and maybe not as surprising as a hairpin.

I like the idea of the novel "gnaw[ing] at the heart of America," but it's a little scary.  Do I want to hold in my hands a book that might start gnawing at my own heart?  Is a carnivorous book a good idea?  I don't think so, but what do I know?  My books, generally non-carnivorous as far as I can tell, don't sell nearly as well as Child's books do.  Maybe the publishers are onto something.  Or maybe they're just on something.  I don't know.

That's pretty much all I have to say.  I need to go into the other room for a while, but I'm going to be careful.  I don't want to be surprised by a hairpin.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds more like a Stephen King book, "gnawing at the heart of America."

Anyway, I have to pick up my copy at the library. I'm planning to read it back to back with Andrew Grant (Lee Child's brother)'s debut novel, Even.

Jeff

Keith said...

I get surprised by hairpins on fast mountain descents at night sometimes, but I don't think bicycling imagery is what they were going for.

Rick Robinson said...

I think hairpin turns IS what they meant, and they can be surprising if one is unfamiliar with the road and expects something more gentle.

Richard Prosch said...

I'm with you, Bill --hard to imagine that review passing a Freshman J School class. One of my recent faves, a professional on his blog was writing about the "stigmata" of being a comics fan. (Which, if and when it hits, no disrespect, might tend to mess up a mint condition copy you're paging through.)

Gerard said...

I just realized that the Amazon quote is as bad as things I write. That is pretty dang bad.

Janet Reid said...

I was darn surprised by a series of hairpin turns when driving the California coast some years back..in the dark. Not an experience I'd be eager to repeat and not one that entices me to buy anything.

Amazon aside, I have read Gone Tomorrow and it was riveting.