We’ve all read book blurbs.  They can be many things: appealing, enticing, informative, baffling, boring, misleading , downright untrue   …. and a host of other options. Listed below are some of the common phrases we often read. Familiar, yes? Aha! But they’re coded, and now the hidden  meaning is revealed.  Tongue in cheek? Of course! Read on.

Enchanting                  there’s a dog in it

Heartwarming             a dog and a child

Moving                        a child dies

Heart-rending             A dog and a child die

Thoughtful                  Mind numbingly tedious

Haunting                     set in the past

Exotic                          set abroad

Audacious                   set in the future

Award winning           set in India

Perceptive                   set in Norther London

Provocative                 infuriating

Epic                             editor cowed by author’s reputation

In the tradition of       shamelessly derivative

From the pen of a master      same-old, same-old

Spare and taut            under-researched

Richly detailed            overly-researched

Disturbing                   author bonkers

Stellar                         author young and photogenic

Classic                         author hanging in there

Vintage                       author past it

I’m sure you could add a few definitions of your own.  I’d love to read them in the Comments box – feel free.

I need to add that I picked the list up on Facebook, where there was no indication of the original author. Whoever, and wherever you are, thanks for the laugh and applause for your witty list.


  1. Lol! I love the list, Alison. 🙂 Needed a good laugh!

    But spare a thought for the poor writer of the blurb, especially if they didn’t enjoy reading the book or had to rush through it, or if they have to write dozens of these on tight deadlines….

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Fortunately not! I do remember having to write book reports at school, though, of the books we took out of the library. I rather enjoyed writing them, but hated reading them out in class or presenting a discussion of the merits or anything involving speaking in front of my classmates, many of whom were not all that nice!

        Liked by 1 person

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