Blurb Your Enthusiasm

Blurb Your Enthusiasm


The dazzling, staggering, astonishing, unputdownable* story of the book blurb, filled with writing tips, literary folklore and publishing secrets

They’re just a few words on books. But what are blurbs really doing (other than trying to twist your arm)? This book is all about those 100-or-so words that take seconds to read but can make a world of difference – and what they tell us about literary history, the art of writing, authors from George Orwell to Zadie Smith, genres from children’s fiction to bonkbusters, cover design, the dark arts of persuasion and even who we are as readers.

It’s also about quotes, titles, first lines, hooks, adverts, puns, swearing, plots, someone called Belinda and much more. It answers questions such as:

Why do some authors hate blurbs so much they burn their own books?

What do movie taglines, six-word stories and, yes, geometry tell us about the creative process?

Should all adjectives be murdered?

Is it true that (checks jacket) you need an animal on a book’s cover to make it a bestseller?

*Including: why do publishers always describe books using words like these?

Our Review

Blurb Your Enthusiasm is a humorous insight into the world of copywriting and the potential pitfalls that exist within it. 

"This book is all about that 'something'; the power of words. How they persuade, shock, seduce, cajole, manipulate, affect and operate; how they create and capture desire." 

I finished this book with a long list of books I want to read, as typically happens whenever I read a book of this kind. 

Blurb Your Enthusiasm is a book for bibliophiles. There are so many wonderful little facts about famous books and authors, including a 'wizard' chapter on Enid Blyton. 

The author discusses how tricky it can be to write blurbs and how some authors just won't be happy with the finished product. 

"So, just as I wouldn't present an esteemed colleague as someone who rambles on incessantly, sags in the middle and could so with slimming down, neither would I tell a potential reader this about a book, true as it might be. We concentrate on the good bits. There's always something to look in a book, just as there's (usually) something to like in a person."

For me, the best bit of the book was when she describes her reaction to one of those blurbs that consists solely of enthusiastic reviews and suggests nothing of the content of the book. The following passage is my favourite of the book:

"Me, begging, tears in my eyes: please just tell me what the book is about. The plot. Please. A book cover, unfazed: A subversive masterpiece. A deep and touching story. The New York Times Besterseller. Go Fuck Yourself." 

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 3.5/5

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