Monday, March 16, 2009

Top 20 Most Annoying Book Reviewer Cliches

Michelle Kerns, Book Examiner for is quickly becoming one of my favorite on-line finds. She recently wrote an article titled:
The Top 20 Most Annoying Book Reviewer Cliches and How to Use Them All in One Meaningless Review

Quoted from article:
" even more pervasive, destructive language-killer has infiltrated the newspapers, newssites, and literary blogs of the world -- reviewerspeak.
The purpose of reviewerspeak is to force every free-thinking book, movie, and art reviewer into the submissive parroting of only a handful of approved reviewer words to describe any item that may come their way...."

I'm really quite certain that I'm an offender, a laughing-at-myself offender. You simply must read Michellle's whole article. She continues with the "20 most annoying clichés book reviewers use:"

1. Gripping
2. Poignant: if anything at all sad happens in the book, it will be described as poignant
3. Compelling
4. Nuanced: in reviewerspeak, this means, "The writing in the book is really great. I just can't come up with the specific words to explain why."
5. Lyrical: see definition of nuanced, above.
6. Tour de force
7. Readable
8. Haunting
9. Deceptively simple: as in, "deceptively simple prose"
10. Rollicking: a favorite for reviewers when writing about comedy/adventure books
11. Fully realized
12. At once: as in, "Michael Connelly's The Brass Verdict is at once a compelling mystery and a gripping thriller." See, I just used three of the most annoying clichés without any visible effort. Piece of cake.
13. Timely
14. " X meets X meets X": as in, "Stephen King meets Charles Dickens meets Agatha Christie in this haunting yet rollicking mystery."
15. Page-turner
16. Sweeping: almost exclusively reserved for books with more than 300 pages
17. That said: as in, "Stephenie Meyer couldn't identify quality writing with a compass and a trained guide; that said, Twilight is a harmless read."
18. Riveting
19. Unflinching: used to describe books that have any number of unpleasant occurences -- rape, war, infidelity, death of a child, etc.
20. Powerful
Go read Michelle Kerns today!

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