* 101 Books is out of office this week. But all week I am featuring the top 5 most popular NEW posts (by traffic) in 2014. I’ll return with new posts on January 5.
Harry Potter readers are stupid?
So says A.S. Byatt, author of Possession. I’m paraphrasing.
The more I read about A.S. Byatt, the less likeable she seems.
Last week, we talked about her dismissiveness of bloggers and social media. This week, let’s talk about how much she dislikes Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling. How fun!
Byatt comes across as the quintessential book snob. The complex, fantastical world of Harry Potter isn’t good enough for her. J.K. Rowling is just a simpleton, parroting old clichés.
This comes from an op-ed Byatt wrote for the New York Times in 2003.
Here’s a problem I face when I’m reviewing or offering my opinion on famous, well-received novels.
I have to separate my subjective opinion from a much wider objective opinion. For example, I recently wrote about how much I really disliked Possession. I’ve called the novel “dull,” “a slog,” and all sorts of other negative things. The same goes for other novels at the bottom of my highly subjective and basically meaningless rankings, like Mrs. Dalloway, A Dance To The Music of Time, and The Sound and the Fury.
I have to recognize that though I dislike, and even greatly dislike, these novels, many literature critics who know much more than me believe these are some of the best novels ever written. Read more
Let me tell you about Possession.
In fact, I’ll give you a quick outline of the novel in case you were considering reading it. No real spoilers, but here’s the breakdown: Read more
I will review Possession on Tuesday.
Until then, every word I write on this blog zaps any potential energy I could use to write that review. How I do dread writing that review.
Consider this an off-day courtesy of A.S. Byatt. New post tomorrow.
Last week I told you guys I was out of things to say about Possession and/or A.S. Byatt. I’m saving the tiny bit I have left for my review. I really hate this book.
So I thought I’d let the sometimes-friendly reviewers at Good Reads tell you a little more about it.
The book has more than 42,000 ratings and 2,600 reviews, with an average rating of 3.85 out of 5.
As I highlight some of the reviews below, I’ll be fair. I’ll include 3 one-star and 3 five-star reviews of Possession.
Who cares what I think? Let the reviews speak for themselves. Read more
Possession has left me speechless. But I’ll still write 296 words for this post, because I like you guys so much.
Or maybe I should say “unable to write”—or whatever the synonym for that is. I feel like this novel has sucked all the life out of my creative bones. It’s a literary Ambien that leaves me in a daze.
I want to finish it badly so I can move on to the next novel and cleanse my bookish palette, yet moving forward is so painful and there are so many other more worthwhile things I could be doing—like trimming my sideburns or spending two hours on the phone with AT&T’s customer service. Read more