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Scraping the barrels of blurb

By Tom Chatfield  

Book blurbs are aimed at browsers: those whose interest has been caught by a cover, title or author’s name, and who want to find out more. They’re the hard-sells of the literary world, and you’d think publishers would have got pretty good at them by now—it is, after all, 101 years since the fictitious Belinda Blurb graced the dust-jacket of Gelett Burgess’s satirical Are you a Bromide?, giving the world this much-needed term. If the inside cover of one of the most recent books to arrive on my desk is anything to judge by, however, there’s still some way to…

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