On the back of my copy of Unto This Last there is a quote by Gandhi in which he states that the book "captured me and transformed my life."
I have read about forty pages so far, which I think is probably enough to know that I should put aside any hopes of being captured or transformed.
Is it very unreasonable of me that I'd prefer to see some other kind of quotes on book covers? A snippet insisting on a book's profound effect on a critic's personal life or its importance/superiority in relation to any and every other book on the face of the planet doesn't make me eager to read it so much as it makes me feel slightly cranky and let down when I don't end up being able to experience the same thing. I think the silliest quote of all time that has ever been used to promote a book was one that on my old copy of Trainspotting, in which a reviewer declared that "it's better than the Bible!"
Because, you know, the defining text of Christianity and a pop book about a group of Scottish heroin addicts are totally comparable.
And while I'm sort of on the subject, I'm also not a terribly big fan of anyone who tells you that a certain age/situation/experience will be the best time of your life. There is too much pressure, too many expectations in that sort of statement. For awhile, lately, I've been thinking an awful lot about this, about how so many people seem to feel that their "best time" was childhood or college or even (oh dear) high school. I had been feeling a bit anxious and behind schedule until I realized that knowing that the best time of your life still hasn't been lived just yet is probably the best place to be.