One-Minute Book Reviews

June 3, 2011

Today’s Gusher Award for Literary Hype Goes to …

Filed under: Gusher Awards — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 5:13 pm
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This week’s Gusher Award for literary hype goes to Nicole Krauss for a blurb for David Grossman’s To the End of the Land that, even by the forgiving standards of its category, spins out of control:

“Very rarely, a few times in a lifetime, you open a book and when you close it again nothing can ever be the same. Walls have been pulled down, barriers broken, a dimension of feeling, of existence itself, has opened in you that was not there before. To the End of the Land is a book of this magnitude. David Grossman may be the most gifted writer I’ve ever read; gifted not just because of his imagination, his energy, his originality, but because he has access to the unutterable, because he can look inside a person and discover the unique essence of her humanity. For twenty-six years he has been writing novels about what it means to defend this essence, this unique light, against a world designed to extinguish it. To the End of the Land is his most powerful, shattering, and unflinching story of this defense. To read it is to have yourself taken apart, undone, touched at the place of your own essence; it is to be turned back, as if after a long absence, into a human being.”

Walls may “have been pulled down” in the book, but the breathless clichés should have fallen here.

Thanks to the critic and editor Scott Esposito for posting this overheated blurb on his Conversational Reading blog, and to former Publishers Weekly deals columnist Matt Thornton ( for remembering it.

Gusher Awards recognize over-the-top praise for books or authors in reviews, blurbs or elsewhere. One-Minute Book reviews welcomes nominations for them. You can also follow Jan Harayda (@janiceharayda) on Twitter at

© 2011 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.


  1. When I read this stuff, I wonder if the reviewer even read the book, or just dug through their thesaurus to string together as many impressive words as they could find.

    Comment by Digital Dame — June 4, 2011 @ 1:46 pm | Reply

    • The odd thing is: Long-winded blurbs like this one are often less helpful than shorter ones, because you can’t fit them on a cover (particularly a front cover) as easily.

      Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — June 4, 2011 @ 2:26 pm | Reply

  2. But is the book any good?? LOL!

    Comment by Patti Smithson Middleton — June 9, 2011 @ 6:34 pm | Reply

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