If book blurbs were honest

ELMARIE KRUGER

It has been said time and again that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. It has also been said that you should rather judge a book by its blurb – the paragraph at the back. Sometimes the blurbs are written to make books seem better than they are, and can mislead you into thinking that you’re reading the “great classic of our generation”, when really you’re about to trudge through 628 pages of pretentious, experimental gobbledygook. To help you avoid this, Perdeby has put together a list of book blurbs for famous novels, written as if they were honest about the book’s contents.

 

Oedipus Rex – Sophocles

Or, How I met my mother: a fanfiction by Sigmund Freud. If warped relationships with older women and unwitting incest are your field of interest, then by all means, give this Greek tragedy a go. Why not read Marlene van Niekerk’s Triomf while you’re at it? And perhaps stay away from schoolyards.

 

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

At its core, this Jazz Age novel is a story about a man who spends a summer becoming one of literature’s most famous third wheels. As it progresses, the book also becomes the novelised embodiment of #FirstWorldProblems. However, the ending will make you rethink that Gatsby-themed party you’ve been planning.

 

A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin

Pick a character. Do you like them? Good. Now, become really invested in their story. Do you feel an emotional connection forming? Very good. Oh look – your chosen character has died. Repeat process ad infinitum.

 

The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

 

Also known as How to be hipster: a counter-culture handbook, featuring that guy in the beanie from your ENG 110 class who tries to read his “deep” short stories to any unlucky soul who will listen.

 

Finnegans Wake – James Joyce

If you Google this book’s title, some of the first results to appear are “Is Finnegans Wake worth reading?” and “Is Finnegans Wake a joke?” Go figure. This novel is notorious for being one of the most complex books in the English language, and you’ll probably lie about finishing it.

 

Illustration: Asiphe Dlulane 

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