Saturday, February 6, 2010

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit

My very favourite part of my job doing short reviews of fiction every week for the Sydney Morning Herald is ripping open the bags and boxes of books that arrive in a steady stream at my house. (Especially now that I've finally got the new Australia Post delivery dude trained to knock loudly, wait more than three seconds, and then knock loudly again. He does this instead of what he used to do: feather-stroke the screen-door once with a small flower made of fairy dust, leave the books on the doorstep in clear view of the street, scuttle straight off to his tiny white van and drive away at speed.)

In the opening of those big white plastic postbags full of books, there are echoes of the Christmas-morning Santa pillowcase circa 1961. And you never know when a postbag is going to contain one of these, like it did today:




I love it that I get the hardbacks and have amassed quite a collection. Having had a good look at the pictorial hints on the cover, I flipped it over to see if there was anything interesting on the back.




Hmmm, I thought, looking at that second bit of blurb, I agree with that. In fact that's exactly what I think. I wonder who ...

Oh.

17 comments:

Barry Leiba said...

Nice to be quoted, innit? :-)

I loved his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series (and the HBO television series based on it).

Deborah said...

I've just snickered my way through The 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom; it was very funny. My husband laughed out loud all the way through the book, but then he's worked in academia for much longer than me.

The snippet of your review made me want to rush out and find some more of his books. You do have a way with words.

Ann ODyne said...

oh kudos to you. Sandy is as adorable as Precious Ramotswe, and now you are in Their Gang.

Lucy Sussex said...

I was terribly flattered to be quoted on the back of a Harvard Univ. Press book (the reprint). Only a teensy review, but I must have said something they liked.

Misrule said...

I've had a few of my reviews quoted, and it never gets old, but I do confess that I feel just a teeny bit ripped off that you never get mentioned by name (unless you are A Name). There are few enough perks for the poor reviewer. I was so excited to see my review of Before I Die quoted in the Aus edition that I tracked down a sales assistant in the shop and showed her, but of course there was no way of proving that "Viewpoint" was in fact me...

Mindy said...

But we will always know who it is. Well done.

R.H. said...

Life is full of little astonishments, your eyes go back in your head, at Laverton trash market I found: Patrick White, A Life, by David Marr. I picked the poor thing up from the ground, it's the size of a housebrick, just inside the front cover there's "Some Memorable Reviews."
Cop this one: "His scholarship is scrupulous, his prose is beautiful, his generous intelligence is both incisive and benign, and he has absorbed White's novels and plays through the pores of his skin."
-KERRYN GOLDSWORTHY, Adelaide Review.

Good heavens, I know her.

skepticlawyer said...

Well done, PC. It's nice to be vindicated like that :)

Armagnac Daddy said...

!!! I'd be boasting too, well done!!

lucy tartan said...

LOL

Nabakov said...

Blurbing your own blurbs now?

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2000/04/_25blurbs.html

The comment doorbitch has described this as being a "reactar".

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Nabs, no, not really. I have in fact had to write one or two of my own blurbs and it's a deeply excruciating experience.

Lucy Sussex said...

Funnily enough I did just that yesterday. Not excruciating...maybe I'm finally growing a carapace.

Nabakov said...

"Nabs, no, not really. I have in fact had to write one or two of my own blurbs and it's a deeply excruciating experience."

Oh no, I didn't mean my comment like that - rather instead as a lead into the link I provided to Ben Greenman's hilarious little amusee bouche served in a klein bottle.

"and it's a deeply excruciating experience."

Well at least you did the hard yards to get something out there worth blurbing. More than I can say of some poetasters round here - looking at you Nabakov.

"Varie"? Whaddya mean "Varie"? That's what I have type now now in order to post my take on discussion about literary snapbites? OK, so be it.

Incidentally the shortest, sharpest use of words to describe a major work of art was I think the Marin Free Press's TV listing for "The Wizard Of Oz"

"A young women arriving in a new land, kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again."

Helen said...

It's a small wor(l)d
That didn't come out as witty as I wanted it to ;-)

lucy tartan said...

I think the funny part of this story is that you didn't recognise your own review. Usually when I don't immediately recognise something that I did in fact write it's more a case of 'wtf was I thinking here?'

M-H said...

A coup! Must have been a good moment when the penny dropped.

Doorbitch wants 'clisms' Hmm.....