On the New York Times blog "Paper Cuts" appears a fun piece by Bob Harris called Seven Deadly Words of Book Reviewing - his list of overused adjectives that regularly appear in book reviews because the English language only has so many permutations of "great" or "lousy".
But there's a word missing from the overused list. It too often appears in reviews the Times deigns to publish in our favorite genre. If you have ever found yourself wondering what became of Lizzie Borden's hatchet, I suspect it's on the desk of the non-fiction editor of the New York Times Book Review. As regular as a vegetarian, the Times can be counted on to denigrate true crime as TABLOID.
Storming Las Vegas by John Huddy - "tabloid".
Entering Hades by John Leake - "tabloid".
Everything ever written by Vincent Bugliosi - "tabloid".
Everything ever written by Ann Rule - "tabloid".
Unless, of course, the author is from New York. Those reviews rely on a special, superlatives-only dictionary and two more overused words said comparatively - Truman Capote. For all its literary pretentions, when it comes to books, the Times is a local rag.
On a brighter note, my local tabloid caught wind of the tabloid book I am writing. I told my comrades down at the township hall about my obsession-cum-tabloid hardcover, and they told the South Lyon Herald. Those folks were nice enough to write up a little ditty about it. I swear, if the Times ever did put its dirty tabloid mitts on my book, it wouldn't be with my consent, and rather than read any review they'd deign to publish on this Detroiter's true crime book, I'd save myself some time and just drop a frying pan on my foot.