the state of things

 

The Bookseller II

by Douglas Lindsay - 17:26 on 12 March 2010

The Bookseller arrives through the door this lunchtime. The Bookseller, in true fiscally-prudent fashion, sells its entire front page to advertising. Today's front page is devoted to a book which the quote from someone at Waterstone's describes as "the most astonishing novel of the decade..."

 

At the moment the decade is currently all of seventy-one days old. So is it the most astonishing book of the last seventy-one days, or is the nice lady from Waterstone's predicting that there won't be a more astonishing book in the next nine years, two hundred and ninety-four days? And the book is not even out until 24th June.

 

You might be wondering what this astonishing book is, but I'm so annoyed by the blurb, I'm not going to give it any more of a plug than it's already getting.

 

The back cover of the Bookseller has an advert for a book with the hookline, Probably the most inspiring story of love and tragedy you will ever read. That sounds like an advert that ought to end with the words... Carlsberg don't write books for women, but if they did...

 

Probably the most inspiring story of love and tragedy you will ever read is a boast of some hubris. Given how many books there have been about love and tragedy in the artistic history of mankind, this is going some. I wonder if the author is a bit embarrassed; or whether he's sitting there thinking, too right it is. Maybe he writes his own blurb.

 

You might be curious as to what the most inspiring story of love and tragedy you will probably ever read actually is. Wonder on...

 

If only I had the resources to put an advert for the Barney Thomson series on the front page of the Bookseller. The tag lines write themselves:

 

The most extraordinary series of murder comedies set in a variety of different barbershops you will ever read...


The books that brought down Communism, cured cancer and inspired Barack Obama...


Probably the best books ever written at any time in any language in the last five thousand years...


The most incredible series of books since the Bible...


More inspirational that the Gospels, better selling than Dan Brown, funnier than Monty Python and bigger tits than Dolly Parton...


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