Sarah Harrison's Guide to Lit Crit
Enchanting : there's a dog in it.
Heartwarming : a dog and a child.
Heartrending : they die.
Thoughtful : tedious.
Thought-provoking : tedious and hectoring.
Haunting : set in the past.
Exotic : set abroad.
Prize-winning : set in India.
Perceptive : set in NW3.
Epic : editor cowed by writer's reputation.
From the pen of a master : same old same old.
In the tradition of : shamelessly derivative.
Provocative : irritating.
Spare and taut : under-researched.
Richly detailed : over-researched.
ETA: Additions from flist and elsewhere:
Original : steals from a work with which the critic is unfamiliar
Gripping : No characters
Fast-paced : No story
Shocking : Awful
Lyrical : Keep a dictionary handy.
Lyrical and poetic : Keep a bucket handy.
Expertly crafted : We have no idea what it's about.
Coming-of-age story : child lives. Dog dies.
His/her masterpiece : Eye-watering advance