2.12.2007

A book for the unread

A book about how to talk about books you've never read? (Written by a man who is a judge for The Booker Prize? Ah, you are saying, it's all becoming clear how Black Swan Green made the Booker Prize longlist...)

This book is a bestseller in airports where, presumably, busy travellers must frantically find conversation starters before arriving at their next destination. ("Whatcha know about Proust, dude? Wasn't that Madeleine gal a real hoot?")

But a book about talking about books you've never read? I thought that's what Cliff's Notes were all about.

7 comments:

Dark Orpheus said...

I laughed when I read about it!

Where was this book when I needed it, back in school?

Hee!

Nonanon said...

Ha, what a great article! I'm going to start referring to all literary types as "luvvies." And I'll say this for the French, their bestsellers reflect at least the desire to be well-read. What's a (formerly academic book) bestseller here? "On Bullshit," that's what. Sad.

Amanda A. said...

I thought you might be interested in the Sylvia Plath Symposium being held at Oxford this year. I went to the one at Bloomington a few years back but this one looks even better!!

http://www.thetalisman.org.uk/baldwin/plath/indexregistration.html

zia said...

LK, this made me laugh too. And shake my head in wonder at the same time. But it's really the same thing as all the top 100 books of the century lists, isn't it? People need to be told what they like ...

And it explains Black Swan Green as you said. AND (in my opinion) The Inheritence of Loss, too. I'm having a hard time with the florid prose. I think Kiran Desai's writing can't touch her mother's ... but who wins the Booker? Hmph.

iliana said...

Great link. And, yes it explains a lot :)

Lesley said...

So Black Swan Green isn't all it's cracked up to be, huh? Darn - that's on my wishlist. Then again, so is The Inheritance of Loss ...

aka_Nik said...

You comment helped so much. Thank you! I need to get organized and I won't feel so overwhelmed.

p.s. I like your blog a lot ;)