Full Stop, una joven revista literaria online, publicó hace pocos días una breve compilación en clave humorística de los clichés más palmarios en el frecuentemente denostado oficio de la reseña literaria. La columna, que firman Eric Jett & Alex Shephard, lleva por título Book reviews demystified. La lista completa la pueden encontrar aquí. Para el lector poco propenso a hacer clic en los enlaces, le adjunto una lista todavía más abreviada:
ambitious: I did not finish this book.
beautifully wrought: people are compared to clouds; clouds are compared to birds.
Carveresque: formerly Hemingwayesque; short sentences about drunk people watching their neighbors.
epic in scope: the author needs a better editor.
flawed: this book is similar to the book I was planning to write.
funhouse: the author has wasted my precious time.
gripping: I read this book on the toilet.
gritty: someone gets murdered with a tire iron.
heavyweight: refers to an accomplished but elderly author who is far from fighting shape.
in the tradition of …: I finally read War & Peace, and I want everyone to know.
just as poignant today as it was when it was written: I know nothing about the period in which this novel is set; a mule is a main character.
masculine: the author isn’t misogynistic–the characters are!
ostensibly (“while ostensibly about …, the book is actually about …”): I don’t know anything about the subject of this book, so I’m going to talk about myself, instead.
our greatest living prose stylist: the review is of a so-so book by an old author, or it is appearing in the New York Times.
puts a magnifying glass to contemporary society: the book mentions Twitter or terrorism.
the first great novel of the …: I’m already tired of talking about this book.
tour de force: I can’t remember all the characters’ names, but I think there was a murder and maybe something about magic.
unputdownable: I ride the subway.