Miss English’s Luscious Lexicon for Book Endorsements

April 28, 2011 § 19 Comments

Are you a budding book reviewer? Are you hoping to become a professional reviewer someday, or are you perhaps preparing against the day that your name appears on endorsements all over other people’s debuts? Do you just want a fulfilling, satisfying, innocent hobby to while away the hours?

Then for you, dear Reader, I have good news! I, the eponymous Miss English, have become fascinated with the Vocabulary of Review. I have braved many genres and many authors in search of particularly fine examples of Endorsement Genius; some of this I will graciously share with you as evidence of the seriousness of my research. I include annotated observations on each quote, for the reader’s enlightenment.

On a Sarah Challis novel:

Her evocation of the English countryside is elegiac. Oxford Times.

Quite a tame start, but they did manage to fit the words ‘evocation’ and ‘elegiac’ into one simple, short sentence which is pretty impressive. Obviously this is a high-brow book.

A haunting story of heartbreak and friendship. Peterborough Evening Telegraph.

It seems they like heartbreaking stories in Peterborough. Note the occurrence of the word ‘haunting’: we will be seeing this again.

On ‘Scholarium’ by Claudia Gross:

Murder and philosophical controversy are intertwined in a dense web which keeps the reader entranced. Nordbayerischer Kurier (??)

Dense entrancing webs. This book is not recommended for the arachnophobic.

On ‘The Masquerade’ by Nicholas Griffin:

An impressively imaginative approach to history. The Times

Imaginative. This is intended to denote the fact that it is fiction.

Tracy Chevalier is apparently a fan of Jude Morgan. I have not been better entertained all year, says she. Presumably she is talking about the book.

Victoria Clayton has a glinting wit and intelligence, says the Mail on Sunday. That’s right: glinting.

Kate Mosse’s latest is haunting and heartbreaking, says the Daily Express. Haunting and heartbreak are frequently found together.

Gail Carriger has a delicious rapier wit which is also intoxicating. Some authors are dangerous.

Every single book in the world is unputdownable. This is only a word in the world of book reviews.

After all this research, I am proud to present Miss English’s Luscious Lexicon for Book Endorsements. Use this for all of your book reviewing needs. Don’t stop at a mere sprinkling of tantalising terms: the more of these words employed, the more glittering the review. (Or do I mean glinting?)

For science fiction and fantasy

Atmospheric, breath-taking, colossal, detailed, evocative, imaginative, ingenious, intoxicating, lush, original, phenomenal, razor-sharp, sensual, staggering, triumphant, unputdownable.

Sample review: An unputdownable tale of colossal, staggering, breath-taking proportions. The writing is atmospheric, lush and evocative executed with a glinting, razor-sharp, intoxicating wit. I stayed up until dawn to finish reading this phenomenally well-executed book.

For thrillers and crime novels 

Action-packed, fast-moving, exciting, gripping, gritty, heart-racing, menacing, palpitating, relentless, shocking, suspense, tough, unputdownable, whirlwind.

Sample review: This is a fast-moving, action-packed, totally relentless rollercoaster of a book, so shockingly thrilling that I was suffering cardiac arrest by page fifty-seven. I was resuscitated five times before I reached the end of this heart-palpitating, unputdownable whirlwind of a story. It will take me a year to recover my health, but I don’t care: this is a must-read.

For women’s fiction

Bittersweet, colourful, compelling, deft, entertaining, fun, haunting, heart-breaking, intoxicating, irresistable, magical, mesmerising, relatable, saucy, sexy, stylish, tantalising, tender, unputdownable, warm-hearted, witty.

Sample review: This haunting, heart-breaking tale is bittersweet and tenderly funny. The author’s irresistable, intoxicating wit sparkles dazzlingly through every scene. It’s easily relatable, unputdownable, funtastic and amazingacious – I gave away my six-year-old daughter today so that I could have time to read every single word this author has ever written. This must-read book will transform your life, leaving you irrevocably, permanently, unreversably changed.

For historical fiction

Authentic, breathtaking, compelling, comprehensive, deft, engaging, epic, evocative, imposing, informative, intelligent, majestic, meticulous, operatic, powerful, rich, rigorous, scalpel-like, sprawling, tour-de-force, tumultuous, unputdownable, vivid.

Sample review: Triumphant: a must-read. This confident, assured debut is a slow-building, considered narrative that’s simultaneously gripping, tumultuous, action-packed and completely unputdownable. The majestic, sprawling scope of this truly epic novel is completely mind-blowing. It is rigorously, meticulously researched and absolutely authentic, and at the same time it is an imaginative and original interpretation of it subject matter. The author builds the world with scalpel-like precision, as deft and careful as a brain surgeon operating on the girl of his dreams. I wonder if this author would accept a proposal of marriage.

For horror

Bleak, bitter, chilling, dazzling, disturbing, dreamlike, eerie, grim, gripping, haunting, horrifying, nightmare, repulsive, spectral, spooky, striking, thrilling, unforgettable, unputdownable, violent.

Sample review: This accessible, eminently readable tale of terror is so chillingly disturbing – so hauntingly horrifying – that you’ll be too scared to finish the book. It’s a bleak, grim, eerie nightmare of a tale that will have you sleeping with the light on for the next eighteen years. Expect plenty of thrilling spectral violence. An unputdownable must-read.

There it is, dear Readers, free for your delectation, admiration, entertainment, enjoyment and possible disparagement. In closing, here’s what one reviewer recently said about the Lucious Lexicon:

An unputdownable must-read! (The Weekend Lexicographer).

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