I read a lot of publishers blurbs. If I don’t know what a book is about, it’s hard to know whether it will sell or not and a publishers blurb is one indicator as to the contents. It is also a good thing to add to an on line book listing as it gives a prospective buyer an idea of what is between the covers of a book that is not in front of them. My thinking is that the publisher, who one would assume is keen on selling books, has given an appropriate description of the contents in the book blurb. How appropriate the description is, is open to debate, but it is a description and without reading the book, I figure it is as good a quick guide as you can get, particularly in a short period of time.
Reviews on the other hand are something that I try to avoid as much as possible. I figure that they are always going to be positive as the same people that want their book to sell, are not going to print a negative review. For some strange reason I did read this review of Maxine McKew’s book:
‘Otto von Bismark said the people should never see what goes into making sausages or the law, because they’d never eat another sausage or respect another law. I am not sure he would have enjoyed this book. But I certainly did—an amazingly frank insider account of an extraordinary time in Australian politics.’ PETER FITZSIMONS
I think this is great. A review of a book about Australian politics that has the words “Otto von Bismark” and “sausage” in it, is truly inspired. Well done.