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This witty and wise piece will render you near-catatonic with delight and admiration

Over on the CBC Arts website, Andre Mayer looks at the fine art of book blurbing, and he leads off with a doozy of an example from Dave Eggers.

Writing about Adverbs, a new adult short-fiction collection from his pal Daniel Handler (known to some as Lemony Snicket), Eggers serves up this bit of prime nonsense: “Anyone who lives to read gorgeous writing will want to lick this book and sleep with it between their legs.”

Counters Mayer: “Reading Adverbs, I felt no such impulse. But perhaps that’s a personal shortcoming — maybe I don’t feel books as intensely as Eggers. At any rate, he exercises creative licence the way most of us exercise our lungs.”

There are more examples from Eggers and others — some chummy, some lazy, some so over-the-top as to be meaningless — and Mayer makes some nice sport of them. He also talks to Canadian publishing types (Craig Pyette from Random House and Noelle Zitzer from HarperCollins Canada) about what makes a good blurb.

Related links:
Click here for the CBC Arts story on blurbing