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Books that review themselves

By Tom Chatfield  

In cuisine, the saying goes, the first bite is with the eye: appearances may be deceiving, but even the wariest diner begins their judgement with looks. Popular idiom cuts the other way with literature, advising good readers to ignore anything it comes wrapped in. At least in the Prospect office, however, the sport of pre-judging books is alive and well, faced as we are every day by a mesmerisingly long list of titles vying for review. And we don’t even need to look at the covers: just an author and title will do.

It’s in this spirit that we’ve begun…

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