Sunday, June 22, 2008

Got a match?
Ron Liddle in the London Times writes of books he'd like to burn. Not in a Nazi way. But in a "I can't believe I read that tripe" way.

Among the authors and titles listed were several I agree with. Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and Salman Rusdie's Midnight's Children. I would, of course, have to add anything by Saul Bellow (sorry Lurker), Ayn Rand, the drivel that is The Da Vinci Code and, of course, The Beans of Egypt, Maine.

It's interesting the way that books take on a marketing life of their own. So often so-called blockbusters are total crap (again, The Da Vinci Code) that sell like hotcakes because of word of mouth. Conversely, there's a huge range of amazing novels that people ignore because they have the reputation of being difficult to read or, worse, dull. One of the reasons why I adore Husband is his complete open mindedness when it comes to books. I think that his list of top ten would include two books that many people avoid: Moby Dick, and Don Quixote. (As an aside, one of the critics mentioned in Liddle's article lists the Cervantes epic as the worst novel ever written!)

Over the years our book group has read many a tome that I have enjoyed flinging across the room in disgust; But very few would I burn (Bellow, Rusdie, The Beans, and Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow being the exceptions). But then again it's too hot for a fire right now.

1 comment:

woof nanny said...

Interesting. I feel that way about Water for Elephants, which everyone else seemed to love. I thoroughly enjoyed, however, The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand).

I found you thru Finny today and am enjoying your blog. I have a book blog along with, ahem, three others. I need to find a book club to join.