Monday, June 13, 2011


I posted this photo, taken earlier in the month, to show that it is not always wet, dark and raining in England's scenic South West.
Interestingly Markusvinsa in Northern Sweden was the hottest place in Europe last Friday.
In Mari Jungstedt's novel The Dead of Summer the weather is mentioned quite a lot.

page 120: I just felt like it today [Karin wearing a dress] since it is so hot.
page 133: The heat had held on for the past two weeks, and plenty of people had a good suntan.
page 150: It was so hot that the air shimmered.
page 171: And it looked as if, this summer temperature would reach record highs.
page 192: Underneath the broiling sun, the temperature slowly but relentlessly rose to more than 85 degrees, even though it was not yet noon.

So those of us not used to the foibles and eccentricities of the publishing industry might wonder why the blurb on the back cover states, with no reference to it not applying to this book:

'Mari Jungstedt creates the special atmosphere of Nordic crime- that land of snow and ice that fires our imagination.' Jane Jakeman, Independent.

Call me a pedantic old fool if you will, but I like my blurbs to tell me something about the book.
But this effort was obviously chosen as a generic blurb for Nordic crime fiction - Scandinavia-cold-"land of snow and ice"-stick that on the back cover.
This is symptomatic of the extremely annoying "sticker marketing" [see examples posted by Karen at Euro Crime] that has gone on since the Stieg Larsson phenomenon.

"If you liked Abba you will love Arvo Part"
[Arvo Part is an Estonian classical composer so they both come from the Baltic region. ;o)]


Blogger Bernadette said...

Well I'm a pedantic slightly younger fool then Norman as I was brought to near apoplexy when my copy of Camilla Lackberg's THE PREACHER was plastered with "Chilly - Just like the Icy environment it describes" despite the fact the entire book took place over a sweltering Swedish summer which was mentioned throughout the book.

3:51 AM  
Blogger Dorte H said...

Scandinavia - the land of sweltering snow and ice!

You are right; it seems as if they are in a competition: write the stupidest sticker.

4:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norman - I'm happy to join the ranks of pedantic fools if it means that I want blurbs and stickers to be accurate about what's inside! And that's a lovely 'photo, too, by the way.

4:28 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks Bernadette, Dorte and Margot.
I have just received my copy of Sweet Money by Ernesto Mallo with the cryptic blurb:
'Martin Cruz Smith and Philip Kerr fans will be rewarded'.

Margot we Devonians go mad with a camera when we see blue sky, as it is quite a rare event.
I was once been informed by a hotel receptionist in a freezing cold Helsinki-"Ah Devon that is where it feels colder at +10 degrees than it does here at - 10."
And what is really annoying is that because of the damp she might be correct.

6:37 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Just a check to see if comments are working.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Yes, comments are working.

Well, you know if you like gravlax, you'll love Mari Jungstedt!

And how can publishers put Cruz Smith, Kerr and Mallo in the same sentence -- or blurb? "If you like reading about Nazis, you'll love Ernesto Mallo"?

Is there a fascist-beat to this?

2:49 AM  
Anonymous LauraR said...

I'm usually put off by these comparators in blurbs tbh.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Here's one more for the sticker/blurb discussion of Nordic thriller tomes; it's from today's New York Times Book Review section.

In a full-page ad for Jo Nesbo's "The Snowman," the top starts off with a quote by Michael Connelly which says Jo Nesbo is his new favorite thriller writer and Harry Hole his new hero.

Then comes this blurb by Vanity Fair: "Maddeningly addictive ... plotted with Larsson-like ingenuity."

Huh? Is Larsson the only plotter with ingenuity? Aren't they all supposed to do that -- use ingenuity and creativity?

P.S. Margot Kinberg's stickers at her website are absolutely right-on and hilarious.

4:29 AM  

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