One-Minute Book Reviews

September 12, 2008

And Today’s Gusher Award for Achievement in Hyperbole in Book Reviewing Goes to …

Filed under: Gusher Awards,News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 12:35 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The winner of this week’s Gusher Award is:

“Brilliant: Unwritten law requires reviewers to use this word at least once about every Garry Wills book. How much truer this is of Lincoln at Gettysburg.”

Lexington Herald-Leader review of Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America (Simon & Schuster, 1992)

Gusher Awards typically go to reviews of more recent books than this Pulitzer Prize–winner, but the Herald-Leader’s unintentionally comic line was irresistible. And it suggests what’s wrong with literary hype: Many scholars and critics regard Wills’s study of the Gettysburg Address — the greatest speech in American political history — as one of the finest Civil War books of the past two decades. But this review goes so far over the top that many of us might tune out the praise.

© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.
www.janiceharayda.com

2 Comments »

  1. Fortunately, I don’t spend a lot of time reading unwritten law, so tend to avoid those meaningless superlatives in my reviews which, I believe, is absolutely brilliant of me.

    Malcolm

    Comment by knightofswords — September 13, 2008 @ 1:58 pm | Reply

  2. Glad you can avoid the superlatives, Malcolm. It’s harder than most people think …

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — September 13, 2008 @ 8:26 pm | Reply


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