Yesterday I tweeted the last of fifty deliberately bad book blurbs describing speculative fiction stories in, well, the worst way possible.
I had a lot of fun doing this, it gave me a chance to experiment with satire and humor in ways I hadn’t been able to before.
I also had a lot of fun when other people chimed in and created their own bad blurbs. Here are some of my favorite ones.
First, there was this take on the Harry Potter series:
Then there was this interesting take on Nabakov’s masterpiece.
Finally, there was this take on
Thanks to everyone who took part in this little event.
Like pretty much any creative project, there were efforts that didn’t make it to the final stage. Here are few blurbs I wrote which didn’t make it to the list for various reasons:
The Ball and the Cross by G.K Chesterton: A diehard Scotch catholic and diehard Scotch secularist plan a duel. After they’ve hashed out the existence of God or lack thereof.
This blurb was meant to be bland and a bit predictable, and I think it does that well. However, after writing it I realized it had two big problems. First, it’s not really atrocious enough to be funny. Second, the contest’s humor was built around knowing the books first, so you could tell that the blurbs were doing a terrible job of describing those books. While The Ball and the Cross is a fascinating book and arguably a classic, it’s not a very well-known classic book. Thus, I realized that other than diehard G.K. Chesterton fans, no one would really get the joke.
I also left out the following blurb
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut: Surviving World War II was hard enough. Now his family disowns him just because he can time travel.
This one is obvious, and a bit tasteless. Both of those features were points in its favor in such a list. However, the setup is surprising enough that it might make you want to pick up the book (which defeats the whole point).
Finally, I decided to leave this one out:
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis: One-on-one mentoring done in the very worst way. Depending on how you look at it.
This blurb did what I wanted it to do. It doesn’t tell you anything about the book’s plot or character, which makes it very unsuccessful as book blurbs go. However, it’s snarky and could be seen as really funny, which might make you interested in the book. In other words, it was too good.
Still, I figured it was funny enough to make for a good blog post graphic.