One-Minute Book Reviews

February 24, 2008

Did Your Sunday Paper Call a Book an ‘Instant Classic’ Today?

Filed under: Uncategorized — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 12:44 pm
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If so, you can nominate the review for a One-Minute Book Reviews Gusher Award for Achievement in Hyperbole. A classic has proved its worth over time. So “instant classic” is self-contradictory hyperbole. (A critic could solve the problem by writing that a book “deserves to become a classic.”) To submit a review for consideration for a Gusher Award, leave a comment or use the e-mail addresses on the “Contact” page and mention the nomination in your subject heading.

© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.


  1. Ha, ha, this should be fun!

    Is there a deadline for this award?

    Comment by anthropologist — February 24, 2008 @ 1:36 pm | Reply

  2. (Said with head hanging slightly: I’ve just co-edited a book that may go on your list next year for the Delete Key award. No, actually, that would even allow it too much praise. I recinded my name from acknowledgements. Many lessons learned.

    I have linked you to my blog and am alerting several other published journalists here in the Lou to do the same. Glad you’re championing a topic too long ignored (yet raged about in our writer cliques). Will stay tuned…

    Comment by oh — February 24, 2008 @ 1:36 pm | Reply

  3. Hmm. Such a difficult choice.

    Comment by kidderfrenzy — February 24, 2008 @ 1:59 pm | Reply

  4. Anthropologist: So glad you see the humor. Some of the bad writing is so funny, I’m almost afraid people will buy the books just for their comic potential.

    No deadline, but I have to read any book on the shortlist. And if you nominate a book on Thursday, I probably couldn’t track it down and read it by 10 a.m. Friday. But I’m compiling a list of 2008 books that may be candidates next year …

    Oh: Thanks for the link. The biggest problem with these awards is that I have to do so much reading for them, I have almost no time to publicize them. And I’m truly grateful for any help on that one.

    Kidderfrenzy: Especially if you have to read all these books … I am so happy that this year I haven’t had to read any books that involve cannibalism, as the 2007 finalist “Hannibal Rising” did.

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — February 24, 2008 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

  5. I am sorry that this is late, but it just occurred to me (this morning, while reading the Feb. 24 New York Times Book Review), that it is really strange how the deceased writer becomes lionized by our culture: take the case of Roberto Bolano, who died in 2003, and whose every book since then has been called “great,” “classic,” etc etc. Stacey D’Erasmo, in her review of yet another book by him, NAZI LITERATURE IN THE AMERICAS, begins her review this way: “Among the many acid pleasures of the work of Roberto Bolano, who died at 50 in 2003, is his idea that culture, in particular literary culture, is a whore.” (!!##??) What, and I’m supposed to fall down in admiration because Bolano declared literary culture “a whore”? That’s such a cliche! It almost ruined my breakfast.

    Comment by anthropologist — February 29, 2008 @ 12:07 pm | Reply

  6. Please don’t ever hesitate to post quotes like that whenever you find them (the way I review books whenever I like). That line is such a good example of the kind of writing you see all the time in major book review sections (not just the NYTBR). If you’d written that comment about Bolano on a college English paper, the professor might have returned it with “Asserted, not proved” in the margin.

    American culture does tend to lionize dead authors. I was surprised when Norman Mailer won the Bad Sex in fiction award from the London-based Literary Review not because he didn’t deserve it but because he won soon his death. My immediate reaction was: An American publication would never have given him the award …

    If you find more quotes like the one about Bolano, I’d love to have you add them in the comments section. Thanks so much for it.

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — February 29, 2008 @ 5:43 pm | Reply

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