Sunday, February 13, 2011

blurb criminal

I'm going to slap the wrist of the "Times" writer who blurbed "The Nearest Exit" (a spy novel by Olen Steinhauer). He wrote, "Steinhauer can be legitimately mentioned alongside John Le Carre."

First of all, it's floundering in passivity. Steinhauer "can be mentioned"? Mentioned by whom? Why not, "I'm not ashamed to mention" or "you will wind up mentioning" or "readers will feel compelled to mention" or "My dentist mentioned"?

And what does it mean to "legitimately mention" something? Can you illegitimately mention something? Presumably, the writer is claiming that when Steinhauer is (passively) mentioned, the (unnamed) mentioner will have grounds for his (free-floating) mentioning. In other words, the statement uttered via mention will be true. But what a sloppy way to say so! For lunch today, I'm going to legitimately eat some Spaghettios.

And "mention"? What kind of a chicken-shit, faggy verb is that? If you love a book, fucking PROCLAIM your love on the mountaintops. Or at least speak up a bit. Don't make comments out of the side of your mouth. It's annoying enough when Robin Williams does it. Don't be like him. PLEASE don't be like him. (For so many reasons, such as "Patch Adams.")

Finally -- and here I'm quibbling, but, screw it, I might as well have some fun -- what does it mean to mention the author "alongside" Le Carre? Is the (mystery) mentioner claiming (espousing, broadcasting, opining ... saying) that Steinhauer is as talented as Le Carre? Or is he -- the disembodied mentioner -- at a dinner party, sitting next to Le Carre, when he engages in (untethered) mentioning?

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