News Ticker

Have You Ever Bought a Buzz Book?

Call me an impulsive, illogical, book-mongering biblioholic consumer – you won’t get any arguments from me. I’ve bought books for completely illogical reasons. Maybe I just liked the cover and thought it would look good on a shelf. Maybe it was the next book in series that I already own but haven’t started reading yet. Maybe it was a copy that was in better condition than the one I already own.

Another reason I’ve bought books is because of buzz. I’m not talking about publisher hype – that’s just blatant advertising. No, here I’m talking about lots of positive things emerging from the blogosphere about a particular title. A “Buzz Book”.

If several bloggers and reviewers mention a book in a positive light, it sticks with me, hibernating, ready to be instantly recalled while I’m walking down the book aisles.

Here are some Buzz Books I’ve picked up. What are yours?

  • Plague Year by Jeff Carlson – This was the book Lou Anders wished he had published but, for some reason I cannot recall and am too lazy to look up, passed up instead. A post-apocalyptic Buzz Book!
  • Anyone who regularly reads this blog knows my experiences with fantasy are hit-or-miss. So the logical part of my brain wonders why I would pick up a copy of Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora. It’s a buzz book, of course, which was apparently enough to overcome my indifference and bring it home.
  • Speaking of brains, just this week I picked up a copy of the zombie novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. Who doesn’t like zombies? I’m hoping this fares better than the book Xombies which was so cliché I couldn’t finish it. Not only does the book have good buzz, but an early peek at its movie script is looking good, too.

Your turn. Have you ever bought a buzz book?

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

12 Comments on Have You Ever Bought a Buzz Book?

  1. Helix: Erich Brown 🙂

  2. I mean Eric :^)

  3. Spin: Robert Charles Wilson. (It subsequently won a Hugo, deservedly so).

  4. I own 2 out of the three in the post and want to get the 3rd (Plague Year)…

    Hype is hype but Buzz followed by good reader comments/reviews = pick up for Bryan!

  5. Loved Lies and World War Z. I imported Steven Erikson’s first 3 malazan paperbacks from the UK based on word of mouth on a bunch of internet forums. Very glad I did!

  6. Infoquake. Didn’t like it.

    Lesson: don’t trust the blogosphere.

  7. I have read World War Z and it was a fantastic read. I very interesting take on Zombies and told from a scary almost realistic fashion…

  8. Space Vulture.

    Which is unusual for me, since I always seem to be reading a book (or watching a movie, etc.) that everyone else read (or watched) two years ago.

    I’m a third of the way into Space Vulture, so I can’t say for sure if the buzz is correct. That one of the authors is an archbishop increased its exotic cachet for me, I must confess.

    I was hoping that the crude energy of the old-tyme space operas could still be pulled off today. So far, I’d say the energy isn’t quite there (nor even the crudeness, not the right kind of crudeness anyway) but it’s not too late for the book; it still may end strong. Put me down for a “thumbs sideways” for now.

  9. World War Z. It was pretty good. It had a global perspective and I also found it oddly moving in parts. And I’m not really a zombie person.

  10. I am not a zombie guy. I have no desire to read zombie fiction but WWZ was so different in the way it told its story. I have recommended it to several friends who also found the story very good. I should have written a review when I finished but the thing is that you could replace the Zombies in it with some other global catastrophe. Then the book becomes a social statement about humans and the breakdown of civilization. It is not that deep, but it achieves the ability to scare without being shocking. It really becomes a story about the humans and not the zombies…

  11. Joe Iriarte // March 29, 2008 at 4:44 pm //

    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell, American Gods, and Anansi Boys.

    Good buzz. Great books.

  12. Lou Anders didn’t publish Plague Year because he was outbid for it! Good book. It’s not exactly deep literature, you understand, but overall the book was very entertaining, full of big scenes and big ideas, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the trilogy. World War Z is still on my to-read list, too.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: