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General Book Discussion > what is a gimmick?

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message 1: by Amy (new)

Amy | 3 comments Someone recently posted about a book I'm reading that they felt the use of Death as a narrator was a gimmick.

definition: In marketing language, a gimmick is a unique or quirky special feature that makes something "stand out" from its contemporaries. However, the special feature is typically thought to be of little relevance or use. Thus, a gimmick is a special feature for the sake of having a special feature.

Which made me wonder: how often has this device been used to make it qualify as a gimmick? I can only think of two instances: The Sandman graphic novels and The Boof Thief.

Weigh in: is Death as a character: a conceit, an innovation or a gimmick?

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I think that depends on how it is used. In Book Thief I would say innovation. I haven't read Sandman.

message 3: by Vicki (new)

Vicki I agree with Emilee, I definitely thought it was a unique perspective for The Book Thief and it didn't feel like a gimmick to me at all. I also haven't read The Sandman graphic novels, but had a very detailed conversations with my friends about them and from their perspective it was innovation.

message 4: by Lori (new)

Lori (tnbbc) Amy posted this exact topic in TNBBC and it brought out some interesting opinions.

I can't say that the use of a character or a writing style can be called a gimmick. A gimmick is a way of catching someones attention and getting them to purchase your book... using something no one else has used before.

Most self help or self motivation or weight loss books tend to be what I would consider gimmick. A way for an author to turn a quick buck.... but usually consisting of nothing substantial.

message 5: by Nadia (new)

Nadia (bagambo) I would think that the hype surrounding Chris Cleave's book, Little Bee was a gimmick - the whole, cannot divulge any info regarding the plot because this is such a special story that we don't want to ruin it for anyone, blah, blah, blah. Yes, I bought into the gimmick and read the book and I regret doing so.

message 6: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I think Lori is right, in that style can't be called a gimmick. I think the book The Secret The Secret by Rhonda Byrne is a bit of a gimmick. I had no idea what it was, almost purchased it, and then was very happy I flipped through it before doing so. NOT my kind of book, but all that secrecy gets you curious, you know?

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