Great Moments In Blurbing
Most of them are pretty standard sci-fi and fantasy. (A few sample titles: A Fistful of Data; Rogue Clone; The Day of the Klesh; Swordbird; The Becoming; Infoquake; and, in what must take some kind of over-the-topness award, Dragonfrigate Wizard Halcyon Blithe.) I borrow them to get me the twenty minutes to the subway after work (I like to just take the A up instead of futzing around shifting stations on the S train, so there's a bit of a hike involved). I used to return them, but no one cared. So my area is starting to collect amusing-looking pulp.
But every so often we get misfires--books that aren't sci-fi or mystery and never had a chance at a review, such as A Christmas Wedding by Andrew Greeley, which is a sprawling multicharacter romance set in the 1950s. And then, most recently, Randall ("author of Braveheart") Wallace's Love and Honor, which promises a kind of Winds of War vibe from its very cover, featuring two men on horseback riding furiously in period costume while framed by stars and red-and-white bunting. ("One patriot. One fledgling nation. One dramatic quest.") Let me just quote the back copy:
"Virginia cavalryman Kieran Selkirk is summoned to a slandestine meeting in the winter of 174. There he finds none other than Benamin Franklin, who reveals the brilliant soldier's assignment: He is to travel to Russia disguised as a British mercenary and convince Catheing the Great not to join the British in their war with America. It is not a quest for the weak of heart, for to succeed, Selkirk must survive savage terrain, starving wolves, secret assassins, marauding Cossacks, a court of seductive young women, and even a dramatic romantic face-off with the legendary Tsarina herself. " Good thing he brought his own horse.
But this is what actually caught my eye, and I offer it here without further comment. At the bottom of the page is the following blurb of praise, which I swear I am not making up:
"Wallace's perfectly chosen words weave spell upon spell, rising to give images so romantic, stories so enthralling and characters so compelling that one is utterly transported."