Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Stupid blurb bait, thoughtless shorthand comparisons

A recent exchange with Benjamin Whitmer on social media included the following:
Nope, nothing like me.
"An invocation of [Raymond] Chandler in a crime fiction review is often more a reflex than it is a thought, like a knee jerk, a fart, or a belch." 
Me neither.
"[Cormac] McCarthy's almost one on his own now. I mean, I love him, but every damn book that's not set in a major city is McCarthyian." 

Now it's your turn: What authors are fatuously invoked by reviewers who lack the time or the brains to think about what they read? What is the silliest comparison to another author you have read in a view?

© Peter Rozovsky 2016

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Blogger Monson said...

I really dislike James Crumley. What was your question again?

June 28, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Ha! The opening of The Last Good Kiss vies with that of Chandler's story "Red Wind" for most often cited as the best opening to a crime story. I find Crumley's opening unbearably self-conscious and over the top, and I suspect people cite as reflexively as reviewers call some novel or other Chandlerian or McCarthian. So, good answer. Thanks.

June 28, 2016  
Blogger Jerry House said...

The author invokes squamous, Lovecraftian horrors melded with the craftsman-like realism of Hammett, yet one cannot help but realize he has perfected the simplicity of Margaret Wise Brown. A stunning achievement!

June 29, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Lovecraftian is good. Reviews and spoofs thereof can take on a certain sameness, but you transcend the genre.

June 29, 2016  
Blogger Gerald So said...

Hi, Peter.

"[Newer Author] writes like [Established Author] on steroids [or other drugs]" strikes me as lazy and meaningless.

June 29, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You nailed that. It may have been fresh the first two times it was used, but not since. And the cliche has spread beyond reviews, too.

June 29, 2016  

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