Glossary of Terms

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

Knowing what words really mean is an essential reading aid, especially when it comes to reviews or blurbs.  So here's a guide (source unknown but I got it c/o a response to the Bluestocking article on book blurbs.  Of course, it could also be an aid to writing reviews (etc) if you get stuck.

Please feel free to use shamelessly and do expand the list.


Enchanting = there’s a dog in it

Heart-warming = a dog and a child

Moving = child dies

Heart-rending = dog dies

Thoughtful = mind-numbingly tedious

Haunting = set in the past

Exotic = set abroad

Audacious = set in the future

Award-winning = set in India

Perceptive = set in north London

Provocative = infuriating

Epic = editor cowed by author’s reputation

From the pen of a master = same old same old

In the tradition of = shamelessly derivative

Spare and taut = under researched

Richly detailed = over-researched

Disturbing author = bonkers

Stellar author = young and photogenic

Classic author = hanging in there

Vintage author = past it

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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