Benjamin Disraeli, Christos Tsiolkas, Freedom, John Grisham, Jonathan Franzen, Mark Twain, National Book Award, New York Times, reviews, The Corrections, The New York Times Best Seller list, The Slap, Vegemite
In Britain, the books readers either love or hate are called “Marmite” books. (In Australia we’d call them Vegemite books.)
As was The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. It spent 29 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list, and won the 2001 National Book Award but some readers hated every line of its creakingly earnest purpose: a solid realist social novel about now.
Then B. R. Myers in The Atlantic, called it “a 576-page monument to insignificance” whose “language vies with content to be as ugly as possible”.
Such a trashing had The Huffington Post trawling for other vicious reviews, including Susan Cohen’s dismissal of Stieg Larsson‘s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. (“This is easily one of the worst books I’ve ever read. And bear in mind that I’ve read John Grisham“), and this from Leon Wolf on Meghan McCain: “It is impossible to read Dirty, Sexy Politics and come away with the impression that you have read anything other than the completely unedited ramblings of an idiot.” Whew.
Such acid opinions leave one craving subtlety.
“Thank you for your book. I shall waste no time in reading it.”
- Jonathan Franzen interview (telegraph.co.uk)
- Jonathan Franzen: Great Amercian Novelist (time.com)
- Smaller Than Life (theatlantic.com)
- 10 writing tips from Jonathan Franzen (ragan.com)
- Reviews Round-up (newstatesman.com)
- Twitterverse Publishing Insider Smackdown! What Happens When ‘Evil Wylie’ Comes Face-To-Face With Emperor Franzen? (PHOTOS) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Stieg Larsson: Swedish Narcissus (themillions.com)
- BOOK REVIEW: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (charlestoncitypaper.com)