walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

The complaining begins: _How to Read Novels Like a Professor_

This is the current volume in the read-or-release project, dating from 2008. Which is surprisingly recent.

Anyway.

(1) "Hardly anyone I've ever noticed has leapt into the middle of Chapter 23"

Okay. He did say "hardly anyone"; he apparently knows that all us page xxx people do in fact exist. And we probably had club members in his beta reading group and heard about it.

(2) "Consider Manhattan filled with hobbits, wizards, fairies, and fighting Uruk-hai. Orcs swarming up Wall Street, dwarves in the basements of skyscrapers." Right at this point, I'm like, Sold! I will totally buy that. "Now, that's just stupid. Sounds like the cheesiest kind of horror movie, where you laugh all the way. Or in the cornfields of Nebraska. No, Frodo, Gandalf, and company need their own landscapes, their own geography."

So, he's now dissed a really enormous and popular subgenre of urban fantasy. Moving right along.

"On the other hand, the same mythic landscape would look preposterous inhabited by Henry James characters. Isabel Archer in Isingard? Milly Theale in Mordor? I think not."

Again, _I've seen this done_. I actually don't like it very much, but that kind of period/character drama dressed up in High Fantasy has an enormous following.

If I thought he knew this stuff existed and was making fun of it, the book would be Released. Actually, I'd probably shred it and recycle it, because That Is Not OK. However, I think he writes in ignorance.

He'd better be. I'm at page 40. A few more of these and I'm quitting, because I can't say I'm actually learning anything from the rest of the book, other than a tiny, marginal push towards attempting to read an unabridged but in translation Don Quixote.

Also, he refers to Tolkien's best known work as the Ring trilogy. Excuse me? I thought for a minute he was switching to opera.
Tags: not-a-book-review
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