very much enjoying this fast-paced Thriller, but there's a blurb on the cover that makes me want to go on a rant unrelated to the novel itself; blurb on cover provided by Lee Child: "Very, very good. It's all here. Reacher is keeping an eye on this guy.". this blurb also reminds me of a Neil Gaiman blurb on the cover of my copy of The Secret History of Moscow: "A lovely, disconcerting book that does for Moscow what I hope my own Neverwhere may have done to London.".
I'm not keen on hugely successful authors who pimp their own works in a blurb for another author. couldn't praise a book without self-referencing, and reinforcing your own high stature in a genre?--no?--was not possible. and what is the point of Gaiman trying to combine humility with trumpeting the importance of his own famous book!? okay--you've just put your own book, Neverwhere, at the top of the heap, but now you're gonna try and downplay it at the same time you're pumping it up, with "what I hope my own Neverwhere may have done for London.". if you're gonna brag and sell your own book in a lightning-fast blurb for someone else's book--use up your word-count in a short form of praise to focus more on yourself--what's with the qualifiers?! you might as well just say how great your book is, and skip "may" and "I hope". combining humbleness with bragging is kind of...not possible. if you were compelled to focus on your book in a one-line blurb--no matter how great sales have always been--just say "does for Moscow what my own Neverwhere has done for London.". I mean, it's more honest; but you probably wouldn't see a blurb like that, it would be judged too arrogant. and this is not!!?? again, setting your book as the standard for greatness achieved seems rude to me, no matter what words you slip in to try and hide what you are doing.
I'm not done yet. poor Gaiman--this didn't even start with his book or his blurb. so back to the Lee Child blurb on the Erik Storey book. yeah...we already know Reacher's status in the genre, everybody's heard of him, he's established as top of the heap, movie deals...is it me?...or, does Reacher not need to be promoted in a blurb for a totally new author? we see the Lee Child name, everybody knows it--naming your own character as the nexus-point of Action heroes out there, as the king of the heirarchy "keeping an eye" on newbies seems to me to be self-promoting, where, really, is it necessary to drag the blurb back over to your own works, rather than giving us some descriptive comments of the book you showed up to assist. I get that this Reacher-centric blurb alerts browsers to know what sort of book this is, and who it should be marketed to, and I do feel that this is less self-serving than Gaiman's ditty...but we've got the story synopsis, plus--as I said--you've got Lee Child's name on the cover regardless, you have a real opportunity for Lee Child to comment quickly on why this book is a great Action Thriller in a way that would clearly link it to his books...I just think it could be done without a Reacher promotion taking over. maybe on this one, I'm over-reacting, but I'm sticking to my rant on this anyway, and I don't remember Stephen King highlighting his own work amongst his endless blurbery; he gives you something to chew on regarding the book you may be about to buy. he doesn't try and steer you over to The Dark Tower on the off chance you haven't read that.
I think that's the point for me right there: I don't think a blurb should be trying to get me to put down a new author's book and go over and pick up one of the blurber's books. geez, Child, are sales flagging? you've got a whole shelf to yourself already!