Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another Amazing Post that I Didn't Write But Wish I Did

Posted by Simcha 1:55 AM, under | 6 comments

A recent blog post at Misfit Salon reminded me of this fantastically awesome post I had come across a while ago at the Tor blog entitled How to Lie About Books.

Here are just a few tantalizing bits and you will have to read the rest of the post at, since, unfortunately, I didn't write this. Alas.

Allow me to teach you my five simple rules for lying about books.

Change the Subject

When engaging in the secret art of literary bullshittery, the goal is to change to subjects as quickly as possible to something you actually do know a lot about. It’s not necessary to appear to be an authority on everything in a sustained dialogue. If you’re talking to someone who wrote a doctoral thesis on the use of Platonic philosophy in Ubik, but you’ve never read it, don’t start jabbering on about the Theory of Forms. Your chicanery will be exposed like a senator in a public restroom. Mention instead that you once saw an image of Philip K. Dick on a tortilla.

Carry a Picture of a Kitten in Your Wallet

You’re at a room party at a convention and find yourself in a totally indefensible position, surrounded by unyielding fantasy experts perseverating on Anne McCaffrey. They all want to know what you think of Rengades of Pern. You begin to sweat. Should you jump off the hotel balcony or punch one in the face and jet down the hall? Then you remember the picture of the kitten in your wallet. It’s a tabby covered in spaghetti. You whip it out and they all go “aww.” Every one of them has at least four cats at home. It’s going to be OK.

Remember Titus Alone

Sometimes your only recourse is to out-lit-nerd your opponent, to bring up something they haven’t read. For this, there’s no better ammunition than the third book of the Gormenghast series. Why? Because no one has ever read it. Not even Mervyn Peake himself. He wrote it while drunk in the late 1950s and couldn’t remember a word. His editor supposedly cut big parts of it, but the truth is he just didn’t read it. They printed it anyway since there was a paper surplus that year. The person who wrote the wikipedia page is guessing. (I’m sure someone in the comments section of this post will claim they’ve read it. It’s all right. I won’t contradict you. Your secret is safe with me.)

Read the rest here

You're welcome.


hilarious!!! Love it!

I better go memorize everything on the Tor article, as I'm going to my first local book club meeting. . .

That is fantastic! But they've left out my incredibly useful system that got me through a lot of English classes I didn't bother reading the assigned books for because frankly there is only so much Faulkner a girl can take: Enthusiastically agree with and then restate the last thing said about the book you haven't read. Then ask a follow-up question of the person you're agreeing with. This never doesn't work. They are flattered you (a) agree with them and (b) want to hear more of their opinions.

This is hilarious! I especially love (and might use) this one: "Mention instead that you once saw an image of Philip K. Dick on a tortilla." Evasion is golden!

chelleyreads: My pleasure :)

Blodeuedd: Yeah, though it wouldn't work in Israel where cats are are considered irritants. Though a baby picture might work...

Redhead: Good luck! I'd love to try the Neil Gaiman one though I'm afraid no one would buy it.

Jenny: I'll definitely have to try that one if the situation ever comes up.

Stephanie: I was reminded of this awesome post after reading your remarks about lying about books. So thanks for the reminder!

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