Seven Deadly Words of Book Reviewing

Jeff VanderMeer • March 26th, 2008 @ 8:02 pm • Culture

Marty Halpern directs my attention to this compelling and poignant piece on Papercuts.

My least favorite words in book reviews are actually:

Crepuscular
Bovine
Slime-aided
Gravid ovoid
Barnacular
Steinivented
Thorgock
Fluvid
Grottitated
Mandibular (unless they are talking about my new character Juan Mandible Sick-Eyes)

10 Responses to “Seven Deadly Words of Book Reviewing”

  1. Cheryl says:

    I’m kind of fond of crepuscular myself.

    Of course being retired I can now point the finger at the hapless hacks. I think the following words should be banned from reviews: “good”, “bad”, “enjoyable”, “interesting”, “plot”, “character” and, of course, “author”.

  2. Kater says:

    I think maybe I should be taking irony supplements, because I honestly can’t tell if you’re serious or not.

  3. Nathan Ballingrud says:

    I quite like Thorgock. He once saved my life by smiting a hobgoblin with his double-bladed axe.

  4. Spencer says:

    I would not be surprised if John Clute has used all of these words in the same review.

  5. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    In this novel, the crepuscular bovine, slime-aided by the gravid ovoid performs the barnacular purpose of steiniventing the so-called “Thorgock” of the plot. Fluvid and grottitated as it may be, it, in the end is merely mandibular.

  6. matt says:

    I, too, can attest to Thorgock’s virtues. It is delicious and stays crispy in milk.

  7. alex@scribophile says:

    I’m of the opinion that all of these words should be cycled into the general vocabulary as fast as possible :)

  8. J M McDermott says:

    I’ve seen “Fever Dream” quite a bit lately, but that one crosses both book reviews and movie reviews.

    And, I’m a bit tired of it in both places.

  9. Larry says:

    One of these days, I’m going to dare to use “intrepid” and “copacetic” in the same sentence in a review, or maybe I’ll just go even further and use “smegma” to describe a smelly, nasty book that has no appeal to me.

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