Mysteries of the catalogue

I am slowly reading though the publishers' catalogues that I picked up at my recent trip to the London Book Fair. Although an increasing number of publishers are producing online-only catalogues, and one can only approve of this activity, I am always pleased to receive or get hold of a printed edition where one exists, for ad-hoc browsing.

Sunset  One of these catalogues caused me to smile quite a few times in its bizarre descriptions of its books. Here is a lovely example:

"Scrupulously honest Amish-born cartographer John Graef teams up with outlaw prospector and gemologist David Freeman in a ferocious race to be the first to find the treasure and solve the centuries old Tavernier Stones mystery." Sounds exhausting, and that's just the blurb. The author biography just below the synopsis reads "xxx xxx is a cartographer and gemologist. This is his first book." Delightful!

Later in the same catalogue, here is a description of a book in its entirety: "Could Dr Brian Eddy, plastic surgeon to the rich and famous, possibly be the Blonde Bomber serial killer? Packed with everything from homeless kittens to Mob connections, this mystery is messier than a chicken parmigiana sandwich." Er, that is supposed to make you want to buy the book? 

5 thoughts on “Mysteries of the catalogue

  1. Maxine – Thanks for sharing those priceliess descriptions. Oh, that last one is hysterical! I agree with you, too; sometimes printed catalogues are so very nice.

  2. LOL
    Now I remember why I rarely read catalogues (I might be tempted by the Amish-born cartographer, but I have no idea if the book is any good). Reviews are much better when it comes to judging the book inside the cover.
    In the library I may take the wildest chances, of course, but not for anything that has to be shipped to me.

  3. I am beginning to suspect there is an inverse relationship between the absurd descriptiveness of the blurb and the quality of the book.
    I definitely do not want to read a book that in any way resembles a chicken parmigiana sandwich.

  4. Hah. “Exhausting” is a great description of that first one. It would have me running in the other direction, I’m afraid.

  5. I visited Arroceros for the first time a couple of weeks ago and thought it was great ! I am a student and I voted for atienza last year (sorry) but no way will I vote for him or his son again! ~ Power to the park!

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