If Don Draper Blurbed Books

Amanda Nelson

Staff Writer

Amanda Nelson is an Executive Director of Book Riot. She lives in Richmond, VA.

Mad Men’s fifth season may be over, but that doesn’t mean that the conversation around the show has stopped. My big tagline when encouraging (forcing) friends and family to watch is “it’s just like a novel on television,” a line that admittedly doesn’t work on everyone. But it is an undeniably bookish sort of show, so let’s take it further and see what its homme fatal Don Draper would say if asked to blurb a few books (using actual lines form the show, of course):

Anne of Green Gables
What you call love was invented by guys like me, to sell nylons. You’re born alone and you die alone and this world just drops a bunch of rules on top of you to make you forget those facts. But I never forget. I’m living like there’s no tomorrow, because there isn’t one.

The Handmaid’s Tale

I’m not going to let a woman talk to me like that!

On publishing in general:
This is the greatest advertising opportunity since the invention of cereal. We have six identical companies making six identical products. We can say anything we want.

On publishing in general, after three old fashioneds:

We’re going to sit at our desks and keep typing while the walls fall down around us because we’re creative – the least important, most important thing there is.

On publishing in general, after six old fashioneds:
Don: Why do we do this?
Roger: For the sex, but it’s always disappointing.

The Catcher in the Rye

You want some respect? Go out there and get it for yourself.

The Odyssey
When a man walks into a room, he brings his whole life with him. He has a million reasons for being anywhere, just ask him. If you listen, he’ll tell you how he got there. How he forgot where he was going, and that he woke up. If you listen, he’ll tell you about the time he thought he was an angel or dreamt of being perfect. And then he’ll smile with wisdom, content that he realized the world isn’t perfect. We’re flawed, because we want so much more. We’re ruined, because we get these things, and wish for what we had.

I’m enjoying the story so far, but I have a feeling it’s not going to end well.

Fifty Shades of Grey
Peggy Olson: Sex sells.
Don Draper: Says who? Just so you know, the people who talk that way think that monkeys can do this. They take all this monkey crap and just stick it in a briefcase completely unaware that their success depends on something more than their shoeshine. YOU are the product. You- FEELING something. That’s what sells. Not them. Not sex. They can’t do what we do, and they hate us for it.

Bill O’Reilly’s new historical tome:
This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.

When asked to blurb the newest George R.R. Martin book:
I’d have my secretary do it, but she’s dead.

Ready Player One
Nostalgia – it’s delicate, but potent…in Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It let’s us travel the way a child travels – around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.

Asked to blurb a literary fiction novel about a white male academic’s mid life crisis:
And there are so many real problems in the world.

The People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
I hate to break it to you, but there is no big lie, there is no system, the universe is indifferent.

Jane Eyre
People tell you who they are, but we ignore it – because we want them to be who we want them to be.

On The Road
It’s your life. You don’t know how long it’s gonna last, but you know it doesn’t end well. You’ve gotta move forward… as soon as you can figure out what that means.