Monday, June 9, 2014

What if Book Reviews Were Written Like Wine Reviews?

Have you ever wondered why wines are described with terms that are more puzzling than helpful, more poetic than realistic? A flyer for a local wine store sat on the table in the library staff room the other day, so of course, because librarians have to have something to read at all times and it was there, we read it. Aloud. The descriptions of wines are inventive, colorful, creative, even whacky. For example:

"Brooding layers of black cherry, pulverized rock, spiced cedar and hints of anise roar with authority, while massive tannins and roaring acidity deliver a crushing blow of flavor that'll have you quivering with delight."
"Deep intense aromatics of blueberries, black fruits, saddle leather and oak spice carry into a long, chewy finish with plump fruit tannins."
"Rich, plush and juicy on the attack, filled with almost chewy, crushed red fruit bramble, the finish remains fresh and vibrant."
Other descriptive phrases included: "a glycerol, creamy mouthfeel," "aromas of ...buttered citrus," "crushed rocks," "smoked earth aromas," "tobacco, underbrush and worn-in leather," "with notes of brioche," and the adjective "purpley."

If we reviewed books using a similar style, it might look something like this:
"This mystery starts with a flinty introduction to the reader's palate, bursts with fruity exuberance in the middle chapters, bringing a worn-leather tone and and rocky robustness, ending with a long finish to a satisfying conclusion."
"The characters in this thriller have a saddle-leather resilience in their blend of cocoa and berry attitudes that take the theme and plot to a roaring finale."
"Hints of live oaks and the smell of the bayou take the reader on a quivering trip through tannin-filled swamps and a lingering aftertaste of southern nostalgia."
"This fresh-faced first novel attacks the reader with purpley prose and continues on the nose with a soupcon of chewing the scenery while quivering with a roaring, fruity first-person narrative with a finish that surprises with its acidity and buttered rocky denouement."
Bacchus by Caravaggio (1595)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading this!