Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Got Back

One of the most important parts of book shopping is the back of the book.  It should give you enough information to intrigue you to at least open it up, or to decide it is probably not for you, or at least let you know if you have read it or not before.  To be honest that is a lot to ask a few sparse paragraphs.  I have spent many hours in various bookstores with a pile of books just reading the backs trying to decide if I should proceed to the second phase of reading the first chapter before I decide to buy or not.  To this end (keeping in mind that a the essential briefness of the back blurb) it peeves me to no end when the description of the book has NOTHING to do with the actual book.  For example the back of Dragonsinger says "A well-thought-out sequal to Dragonsong about the planet Pern and the apprentice harper Menolly, Mcaffrey's fantasy celebrates the power of music.  At Harper Hall, the music conservatory on Pern, Menolly is initially unaware of the extent of her own powers, since, due to her sex her musical skill had been suppressed in her homeland.  Moreover, she encounters hostility because all of Pern's other harpers-who are more powerful then kings in a world where music literally controls minds - are men.  Gradually, she gains confidence with the help of new friends, teachers, and nine of the planet's rare fire lizards who themselves are excellent singers with mysterious powers....The transformation of Menolly from a terrified outcast to a woman secure within herself is skillfully handled, making her a sympathetic character with whom many readers will identify." - School Library Jouranal
This blurb that the publishers chose for the back of the book makes it sound like music is a magic power that "literally" controls minds.  This book has no magic in it what so ever, in fact the whole point of the Pern series is to have a "fantasy" world that is more sci-fi then anything and magic is not a part of that (I wish people would learn the definition of the term literally).  I understand that it is hard to sum up an entire book, especially a series without giving everything away in such a short space, but would it be to much to ask for it to at least be accurate?  All of that aside, I still rely heavily on the back of books to help me make a determination on what to buy, and have had much success, so I guess I shouldn't complain to much.  Thanks for letting me rant.  Happy Reading Everybody!  Let me know your most inconsistant experiance with the back of a book.

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