The Chicago Tribune‘s recent profile of Jessa “Bookslut” Crispin included a little addendum by the name of “Crispin’s guide to judging a book by its cover,” which boiled down to this: if it looks good, it is good. “It seems like the more attractive it is, the more edited it was, the more people cared about the book. Someone was paying attention to it.”
Sometimes, though, things just don’t go that way. From the Telegraph‘s review of The Pope’s Daughter by Caroline P. Murphy:
Alas, she has reposed too much trust in her publishers, Faber, who do not appear to have used a spell-checker, let alone a proof-reader; the caption to a crucial painting makes a nonsense of Murphy’s painstaking analysis of it, and she is saddled with a dust-jacket worthy of a romance by Jean Plaidy.
Normally these criticisms would fall into the traditional category of minor quibbles; but The Pope’s Daughter is a masterpiece and deserves better.