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Well, I think "by turns" actually expressly means NOT at the same time. Like it does one of these things and wanders along for awhile doing that and then BAM! switches to doing the other. Not that that sounds like a good way to write, so maybe it's even less suited to blurbs.

Posted by leek | March 24, 2008 10:53 AM

I found the 'we' totally annoying, and after I noticed it was never going to stop, well, we returned it to our library.

Posted by Lola | March 24, 2008 11:46 AM

Hey Lola @2: Yeah, it might be an acquired taste. As soon as I realized the 'we' wasn't like a prologue thing, I had a moment where I nearly tossed the book, but I kept on it and it was good. It actually paid off and there was a reason for it.

@1: You might be right. This is why I hate the phrase: It seems to exist only in reviews. Bleuch.

Posted by Paul Constant | March 24, 2008 11:50 AM

What I most detest in reviews is the characterization "lyrical" (as if it were something positive). It seems to be used to describe shitty prose that uses fancy, inappropriately poetic language, especially alliteration and other tenth-grade poetic devices. Fiction should not sound like shitty poetry. A prime example of this is Cormac McCarthy, whose most recent defecation, The Road, is guilty of lyricism in the highest degree. He uses rhythmic language, but it's always the same boring meter. His final paragraph in the book uses the words "torsional," "vermiculate," and "wimple" (as a VERB) - his final paragraph! Also I challenge you to find a verb in that book that's not actually a repurposed abstract noun.

The only explanation I can think of for this is that most people feel they're reading something Really Good and Artistic if they encounter pretty, unfamiliar words. That's how you know it's Literature! I think it's inexcusable and a load of crap. Reviewers, stop using the word "lyrical," except as a slur, as the rest of us use it!

Posted by Sister Y | March 24, 2008 12:00 PM

Hmm, well, if there us eventually a reason for it, maybe I will revisit it. It started out as a pretty fun read. Thx.

Posted by Lola | March 24, 2008 12:32 PM

Virgin Suicides is first-person plural, and worked all right for me. I am intrigued.

Posted by Levislade | March 24, 2008 1:33 PM

I loved Then We Came To the End and I don't normally like first-person plural. But it was perfect here.

Posted by Dawgson | March 24, 2008 2:04 PM

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