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Blurb’s the Word

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Back in the days of my youth, I distinctly remember walking up and down the aisles between the book cases just to find the right kind of (fictional) books to read on my own. Of course if you wanted to find something really interesting, there was a peculiar way to do that. Whenever I decided to borrow the book, I accomplished that through a brief analysis of the book’s blurb. Most of the time, the information I read about the book would give me a general idea what the novel is about, who are the main characters, and if the story is worth a read.

Nowadays, scheduling a balance between two jobs and an independent blogger, I can say that nothing much has changed, except that I use the same process when it comes to determining the value of an independent author’s work. If I had something to say about the content of an author’s writing, I go with what the blurb says about the work. No one needs to read the entire book to figure out the value of these independent novels.

What really surprises me is how much the author contends the shallowness of someone’s brief review while not realizing that it’s not the conceptualized notion of the idea that is bad, but the quality of the writing that is. Take for instance this book blurb:

“Edward had an idyllic life. He had a wife whom he adored, three beautiful daughters and his career as a writer was nicely balanced with his passion of renovating their two hundred year old farmhouse nestled into the picturesque landscape in Mid Wales.

He felt as if he wanted for nothing. That was until he was killed in a freak accident. Then he did want for something. He wanted his life back but that was not going to happen. He had to settle for preparing his wife for life without a husband and his three young daughters for life without their daddy.

Difficult for a man who was dead? Apparently not.

Walk the maze of our Christmas story that will lead you down paths of tragedy, misty avenues where you will question your faith, your belief, and finally walk the path where the power of love becomes entwined within that most magical state of mind, the Christmas Spirit.”

There is nothing that really speaks to me as a reader from glancing at this blurb; I find nothing in this description that makes the storyline radically unique. I am not sure exactly how the author managed to create a ‘nicely balanced’ portrayal of Edward’s personal life at the beginning of the novel. In fact, by the time I finished reading the first chapter, the protagonist is dead!

The reason why I made a few words bold in the blurb itself is because neither the first nor the second phrases make sense. I am not entirely sure if it’s because of the British grammar; however, I think what should be more accurately stated would be that the main character felt like he was wanted for nothing or a more concise term would be worthless.

Now I did glance at a couple of pages within the book to see if there was something special about Edward and to my surprise there is one. He has the unique ability to communicate with the living by writing emails, and turning on the laptop. That’s it. I don’t know what else could be sappier about the novel itself, the freak accident at the end of the chapter or the ability to communicate to his wife by telling her that he feels alright.

The idea of this man using his telepathic abilities to communicate with the living is all but entirely original. Ghost, Ghost Dad, Ghost Whisperer, Haunted Mansion, etc. all have this supernatural theme of someone trying to communicate with the living using physical objects to get the person to see the point where eventually a Medium will come in and save the day. I think the only words I am surprised the author has not used to add sizzle to the novel by enticing readers to chant ‘send him to the light’ every time someone reads another section on poor Edward.

With that in mind, my readers should understand the personal frustrations I have with reading author material and the reasons why I say certain things. Hopefully, the author takes these points into consideration without throwing a fit over his writing.



1 Comment

  1. ME Brines says:

    For an alternate view of communication with ghosts you might read Why Do Ghosts Wear Clothes? It’s available @

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