Thursday, 27 October 2011

Good out of Bad

We were discussing the review comments you see on the front of books the other day. Someone had read something that they felt didn't fit with any off the comments on the cover and was wondering why it should be.

And so we started talking about how these comments could really be taken out of context. Maybe "I was blown away..." really came from a comment that said "I was blown away by how awful this book is."

So we thought we'd play a little game - find a really bad review of something and extract a few choice phrases that make it sound like a good review!

It turned out to be rather fun!

So if you ever get a bad review - why not try this - and turn it into a good one!


  1. I saw James Elroy speak at a signing in bath a few years ago and he said he would always give a positive quote for a book jacket whether he'd read it or not, if his agent asked him. He may not be the only one.....

  2. I think movies are more likely to do the naughty extract of positive words from a negative review. Rather entertainingly, New Scientist did have a hissy fit over a legitimate extract from a review they published, which they didn't like any more: see

  3. Years ago (probably 10 or 15) when I used to read SFX they pointed out that one of their book review comments (something along the lines of) "not a great start to a series" was quoted in the book advert as "a great start to a series".

    I still can't believe someone had the guts to do that, I think they even placed the advert in SFX!

  4. Wow Ian - that really does take some nerve! LOL


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