three-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
27-Mar-Apr-2007
user_rating: 
0

A-Blind SubmissionAngel Robinson thinks she’s found her dream job. At the prestigious Bay Area Lucy Fiamma Literary Agency, Angel discovers a knack for finding the gems among the piles of manuscripts she diligently carts home each night—a skill that her cantankerous, eccentric, and Machiavellian boss takes full advantage of. Then Angel receives a haunting series of anonymous e-mail submissions (entitled, cheekily, Blind Submission), whose story bears a frightening resemblance to that of Angel’s own life. Such eerie insight into her life—and her suspicions as to who is behind it—are a little too close to home for Angel’s comfort.
Shaye Areheart. 328 pages. $23.95. ISBN: 0307346048

San Diego Union-Tribune 4 of 5 Stars
"The author's insider knowledge provides one of the chief delights of this book: Nobody has ever written a literary agency with the authority Ginsberg brings to this one. … Entering Lucy's domain is a surreal experience." Katy Yocom

Washington Post 4 of 5 Stars
"Anyone who longs to become a professional writer would do well to read this novel because even as it stretches the boundaries of disbelief, you remember that—on the contrary—Blind Submission is right on the money." Carolyn See

USA Today 3.5 of 5 Stars
"[A] cleverly told, genre-bending tale that combines intrigue, romance, a touch of mystery and strong female characters. … Book lovers will enjoy Ginsberg's dead-on look at the publishing industry." Carol Memmott

San Francisco Chronicle 3 of 5 Stars
"Blind Submission isn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it may be the most cinematic. From its spunky opening sentence … to its here’s-how-everyone-turned-out codas, Debra Ginsberg’s first novel gives the impression of having been written with an eventual movie version sharply in mind." Sarah Saffian

Los Angeles Times 1.5 of 5 Stars
"[The book’s] mass-market attributes are strangely at odds with and likely to deter the tweedy reader who might otherwise look favorably upon a book that takes place in a literary agency, a setting conspicuously lacking the allure of fashion, film and Upper East Side society, the glamorous and moneyed milieus in which such tales usually unfold. … Instead of the razor-sharp and shadow-subtle observations and characterizations that distinguish successful satire, Blind Submission is all travesty and caricature, a portrait obscured by its own broad strokes." Jenny Shank

Rocky Mountain News 1.5 of 5 Stars
"The prose is cliché-ridden and on the level of a drugstore romance novel; the characters one-dimensional; the sex scenes execrable; and many of the plot twists convenient or unbelievable." Jenny Shank

Critical Summary

For her first turn as a novelist, Debra Ginsberg, author of three acclaimed memoirs (Waiting; Raising Blaze; About My Sisters) turns a satirical eye on the publishing industry. The parallels between Lauren Weisberger’s blockbuster The Devil Wears Prada (2003) and Blind Submission are a well-worn path of inquiry in critical circles. Most reviewers agree, however, that this exposé of the publishing industry is, very appropriately, a better-written affair than the fashion-industry version. The majority of reviewers are thrilled by this backstage look at the good, the bad, and the ugly in book publishing, though a few note a weak central character and a "trashy" plot (Rocky Mountain News). Overall, fervent readers willing to wallow may enjoy this insider’s view of the publishing business.