So what better way to raise my spirits than to sling some vitriol, right? If you've lurked around The New Dork Review of Books for any amount of time, you've probably noticed a passing reference here and there to my literary nemeses. But I've never really fleshed out specific reasons, so I thought I'd spend a post expounding upon those reasons — that is, why the five folks below (they're not in any specific order) generally make me crazy. Enjoy!
|Brown, proud of himself.|
|Right back at ya, buddy.|
3. Celebrities Who Publish Fiction — We've already been over this one in this post from last year...and that was even before Snooki published a novel! Writing a novel — or any fiction — is very difficult, and it boils my blood that publicists for air-headed celebrities hire a ghost writer, slap a famous name on the cover, and get published. It's the height of literary disingenuousness.
2. Michael Crichton — I don't mean to dance on a man's grave here (he died in late 2008), because I have enjoyed most of the Crichton novels I read...up until I gritted my teeth all the way through State of Fear, his 2004 novel that has a bunch of "eco-terrorists" purposely causing huge environmental disasters, like hurricanes and earthquakes, to prove that global warming is not a myth. Look, The New Dork Review of Books is largely a politics-free zone, but to fully explain why Crichton is on my nemesis list, it bears mentioning that I write about environmental issues for the magazine I work for, and environmental issues are important to me. State of Fear is an absolute turd of unmitigated anti-environmental and global-warming-skepticism propaganda. There were even rumors when the book was published that noted anti-environmentalist Dick Cheney had used his bully pulpit to commission Crichton to write the novel.
|Genius, just not my kind.|
1. Cormac McCarthy — Alright, I can already hear your boos. But doesn't everyone have that one famous novelist everyone else is ga-ga over, but that you can't stand? For me: Hello, Cormac. I've never not remembered three books more than I don't remember his Border Trilogy. I know I read them. Don't have a clue what happened in any of them. They all seemed like pretty much the same thing, didn't they? And I absolutely despised Blood Meridian — it seemed like another version of All The Pretty Horses, only much more confusing and needlessly violent. (Disclaimer: I loved The Road!)
So there you have it. But before I go, I'd like to bring up a few honorable mentions:
Honorable mentions: Jennifer Weiner, Borders executives, people who protest kids reading Harry Potter books because they have magic in them, Thomas Pynchon, Stephenie Meyer, book bloggers who do these things, Ayn Rand, blog hoppers who link-drop without commenting on content, Glenn Beck, idiots who post one-star reviews on Amazon to protest e-book pricing, Nicholas Sparks, your mom, people who don't like David Foster Wallace, Greg Mortenson.
Who are your literary nemeses? But to be fair, you have to post a good reason why this person or group of people bug you?