The Art of Reviewing #6

"Paper Cuts", a "New York Times" blog about books, recently listed the "Seven Deadly Words of Book Reviewing". As they say, each of the words listed is a perfectly good word (with the possible exception of eschew), just not in a book review any more. Words such as poignant and compelling have become cliched and have now lost all meaning. In three days this post has received 215 comments on other words and phrases to avoid, which just goes to show that this subject has hit a nerve. Maybe "Alex the Bold" sums it up best:

This SUBTLE but POWERFUL WORK uses BOLD and STARTLING language in a RARE combination -- one part SAUCY, one part E PLURIBUS UNUM -- to construct a LAVISH and NECESSARILY FRIGHTENING story that CULMINATES in an AMUSING and UNEXPECTED CLIMAX.
Which sounds awfully familiar.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 28, 2008 2:14 PM.

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