Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Spoiler alert

Normally I use this space to point out upcoming historical novels, interesting new websites, etc., but today I'm doing the opposite - advising readers to avoid something. I've noticed that Barry Unsworth's The Ruby in Her Navel, subtitled "a novel of love and intrigue in the 12th century," has repeatedly come up in my "if you liked XX, try this one" Amazon recommendations for historical fiction. That's why I'm mentioning this now, even though the book won't be published until October (US/Canada) and September (UK). Here's a link to the catalog description at Random House's site, should you be interested.

I read this novel myself last month in ARC and would recommend it; the review hasn't been published yet, so that's all I'll say for now. That's all well and good, but there's a problem. The Publishers Weekly review - which is the first piece of narrative text anyone sees on the Amazon page - gives away the entire plot, by which I mean THE ENTIRE PLOT. Ahem. Okay, maybe there's a tiny bit they didn't reveal, but if you enjoy suspenseful literary novels set in medieval times, don't read the PW review, or your reading experience will be at least partly ruined. And while I'm complaining, I'll also mention that the review gets two major facts wrong. (So there?)

Seriously, I hate this sort of stuff.

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