Friday, March 24, 2006

Pretty Pretty Hyped Up Books

I have the book proof for this debut Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl. It's still perched there on my tower of unread books, threatening to tumble and kill me in my sleep.

It's been sold as a blend of Dave Eggers and Donna Tartt - the latter is the hook that I bit. I am weak, I confess - but why not give it a try? It's free.

Right now there's some discussion about Marisha Pessl before the book is released. You see, Pessl is young and pretty, an actress and model - everything that says "market-bait" for this world of ours.

It's definitely one of those questionable hyper-hyped books that makes me cringe - but does the effort in marketing necessarily discredit the writing?

Jessa Crispin of Bookslut mentioned in a article in The Book Standard:
I started reading Marisha Pessl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics because the publicist had actually tabbed sections for me to read. It seemed like so much work to go through, I had to stop and take a look. And right now, I’m hooked.

I pity the publicist who had to do this kind of thing. But then, how often do book publicist go out to do something like this?

Sarah Weinman has this to say:
(Btw, for the humor-impaired, it's not that I am mocking Ms. Pessl's appearance or writing ability, just the publishing world's almost masochistic desire to let attractive packages, so to speak, dictate their buying guidelines -- even if the prospect of earning out is rather limited, to say the least.)

As a book buyer, I do see the depraved phenomena of how publishers go for the flash to sell books - while neglecting a lot of quality writers. I see the reality - that it's the flash that's going to catch the buzz. The buzz - in pretty, packaged form will sell.

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