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compelling and riveting Options
mcurrent
Posted: Sunday, December 03, 2017 1:10:57 AM

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Joined: 7/6/2013
Posts: 169
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Hi, people, in my book there is the text:

Jake's new book came out six months later. It had his usual rough language in it, but the critics said it was his best and called it "redemptive," "compelling," and "riveting."

Can you explain to me what "compelling" and "riveting" are meaning here.
Luker4
Posted: Sunday, December 03, 2017 3:22:01 AM

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Joined: 11/19/2013
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Location: Wrocław Pracze, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland
I think it means that it is so good you cannnot put it down

let's see what others think :)
IMcRout
Posted: Sunday, December 03, 2017 5:02:21 AM

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Joined: 5/27/2011
Posts: 34,500
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Location: Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
You have to keep in mind that these reviews are written by journalists working for newspapers. The newspapers in turn depend on the number of adverts they can place. Book publishers are important clients whom you certainly do not want to displease.

Most journalists are fairly clever people so they have found some conventions, which - for the experienced readers - let their customers know in a slightly cryptic way, what they really think of the book.

As Luker remarked, you can take these terms at face value and they give a positive impression. Reading between the lines, you mnight detect a different interpretation:

- redemptive - something morally uplifting vs so utterly boring that reading through the whole book is equivalent to reciting fifty rosaries and Hail Marys, or whatever your denomation has thought up to relieve you from your sins;

- compelling - the book is so good that you feel compelled to read it through to the end without stopping. 'Unputdownable' is another example for something like this vs this book is so bad, boring, irrelevant (tick the appropriate adjective) that you feel forced to put it down immediately, never to take it up again;

- riveting - it is so fascinating that it makes your flesh creep, you get goosepimples because it is so thrilling vs this is so fascinatingly boring and stupid, contains so many typos that they must have forgotten to edit it that it is worth suggesting it for the Golden Raspberry award (although it's for films only).

Of course I have enormously exxaggerated, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but taken by themselves these sleeve notes don't really mean anything apart from giving the information: Buy ME!

Edited to remove a typo. Whistle

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (Anon)
mcurrent
Posted: Monday, December 04, 2017 7:20:56 AM

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Joined: 7/6/2013
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Neurons: 2,916
Thank you for your help, IMcRout.
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