One paragraph reviews on art, movies, books, and pop culture by a know-nothing who knows it all

Monday, January 22, 2007

Astonishingly Close to Home

Joe Queenan's essay in the NY Times Book Review on the overuse of the word "astonishing" in book reviews made me both smile and cringe. In the humorous piece, Queenan sets out to read only books that reviewers deem "astonishing" (there's a ridiculous--or rather "astonishing"--amount of them). In a separate column in the Book Review, Dwight Garner notes that the Book Review editors have banned a number of words, described as "book reviewese": "compelling," "iconic," "lyrical" and "poignant." This is where I cringe. Am I guilty of relying on these words in reviews when other words fail me? Yes. Like the Book Review, I'll do my best to ban those words from Amp Power as well. (Image via New York Times)

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