Novelist Nicole Krauss delivers a book blurb for the ages
- July 9, 2010 1:39 PM |
- By Lee Ferguson
We here at Arts Online have always been skeptical about the practice of book blurbing. While a thoughtful piece of praise from a respected author can certainly give a new work of fiction a much-needed promotional push, these days, it's getting harder to trust jacket copy, where every other new novel is being pronounced "brilliant" or, well, a heartbreaking work of staggering genius.
A blurb published in the Guardian today reaches all new heights (or depths) of over-the-top praise. When acclaimed writer David Grossman's latest novel To the End of the Land arrives in stores this September, it will apparently feature this gushing endorsement from novelist Nicole Krauss:
"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. To the End of the Land is a book of this magnitude. David Grossman may be the most gifted writer I've ever read; gifted not just because of his imagination, his energy, his originality, but because he has access to the unutterable, because he can look inside a person and discover the unique essence of her humanity. For twenty-six years he has been writing novels about what it means to defend this essence, this unique light, against a world designed to extinguish it. To the End of the Land is his most powerful, shattering, and unflinching story of this defense. 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."
It almost makes you want to take a cold shower, no? I'm also not sure Krauss's effusive plug would make me want to buy the book.
I'm curious to hear your thoughts, readers. Do you read/trust book blurbs? What's the most gushing one you've ever encountered?
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