One-Minute Book Reviews

March 7, 2008

This Week’s Gusher Award for Achievement in Hyperbole Goes to …

Filed under: Gusher Awards — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 1:31 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

And This Week’s Gusher Award for Achievement in Hyperbole Goes to …

A “startlingly tender memoir.”
— The March issue of O, the Oprah Magazine on Love and Consequences by Margaret Seltzer writing as Margaret B. Jones

And, as we learned this week, startlingly fake. This quote might have qualified even if Seltzer hadn’t admitted that she made up the book. Why should it “startling” that a book about gang life has tender scenes? Didn’t we see lots of those on The Sopranos?

Thanks to Larry McShane of the New York Daily News for an article on this one that has a quote from Amy Gross, editor-in-chief of O, acknowledging that the book “should have been classified as fiction.”

One-Minute Book Reviews is for people who like to read but dislike hype and review inflation. A new Gusher Award for Achievement in Hyperbole in Book Reviewing appears every Friday along with any other posts that appear that day.

© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.


  1. Gusher Award of the Decade could go to Oprah herself for her embarrassing on-air plug for Tolle’s book:

    Comment by ggelliott — March 7, 2008 @ 5:06 pm | Reply

  2. Great link. I’m tempted to try to move your comment to Tolle’s Delete Key finalist post so people can have them side-by-side.

    Oprah says in the plug that although she’s read a lot of books on spirituality and self-actualization: “This book is the best I’ve ever seen in terms of its clarity and its ability to get people to see the light of who they are.” Nothing about that consciousness that may be emerging in distant galaxies, though …

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — March 7, 2008 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

  3. “Startlingly” isn’t a word regular people use very often even though, in casual conversation, we all tend to exaggerate just a tad. Reviewers need some new adjectives. For this book, “unreal” might suffice.


    Comment by knightofswords — March 8, 2008 @ 2:10 pm | Reply

  4. 4. That’s one problem with some comments in the Gusher Award series — the critics write in the idiom known “reviewese” or “reviewerese,” a language full of words most people don’t use in conversation. This habit can foster intellectual dishonesty. Critics can end up saying in print things they would never say to people they know.

    At the Plain Dealer, I used tell the book reviewers: “Say it the way you would say it to your smartest friend.”

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — March 8, 2008 @ 2:51 pm | Reply

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