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Pickle Me This

November 21, 2008

Aspiring to be literature

Stuart Evers at The Guardian Books Blog on “The good side of bad books”: “I think it’s worth pointing out here that not all bad books are properly bad. I’m not talking about Jefferey Archer or Harold Robbins, Danielle Steel or Norah Roberts. Their books have a specific function, a specific readership and for the most part they deliver what their readers want and expect. For me, truly bad novels must want or aspire to be literature, rather than simply product. Take By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart, for example…”

2 thoughts on “Aspiring to be literature”

  1. patricia says:

    Yes!! I am vindicated yet again.

    I agree, there are lessons to be learned in reading bad literature, but sometimes it can be a tough slog if the book runs over say, 300 pages. At least Smart’s work was blessedly brief, so it ended up being a quick horrid lesson, not unlike a really bad first (and last) blind date.

  2. Kerry says:

    I’ll never forget how surprised I was at disliking this book, and I’m still baffled at how many readers stand by it. I was just expecting something a whole lot more. Definitely, a first and last blind date.

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