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A few authors I learned I do not appreciate December 13, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.

Over the past couple of years, I have tried to read several authors whose works you hear lots of accolades, but which I have avoided reading. I am a voracious reader, reading a couple dozen books or more a years. In fiction, these tend towards “literature” and generally away from mass-volume books and bestsellers. I think Coma is the only Michael Crichton book I ever read, never read any Gresham or Ann Rice. You get the picture. Notable exceptions would be Chuck Pahlaniuk, Dave Eggers, Augustine Burroughs, Jonathan Foer, Will Christopher Baer, Dan Brown, Gregory Maguire, and a few other contemporary authors.

My recent readings were books by Phillip Roth, John Updike, Vladimir Nabokov, V. S. Naipaul, Salmon Rushdee. I found all of them to be plodding, slow paced stories, Often the main characters were totally unsympathetic, meaning I could not relate to them, their personalities, or situations. They often just seemed to be victims of thenselves and not knowing that, just blaming others. Updike’s Rabbit books are an example. The title character is totally self-centerred and has no clue why nobody likes him. Naipaul’s Mr. Biswas is similar.

Nabokov is like a lot of Russian writers for me. Turgid is the word I think of. Long paragraphs of great detail adding little to the storyline or imagery. Just details upon details. Two pages to describe five minutes of unimportant events.

In this period, though, I read some F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway and enjoyed both. So the reading past literature was not all a bore.



1. psi*psi - December 13, 2009

How do you not like Nabokov? 😦

2. fetzthechemist - December 14, 2009

Lolita was OK, but got its fame on the scandalousness. I read his complete short story collection. Very Russian, a thirty-page description of a walk down a path and seeing an old man by the wayside pr ten pages to describe a dusty room full of cobwebs. Like trying to run through wwaist-deep water.

3. Shmoppy - December 14, 2009

I highly recommend Kurt Vonnegut, he’s a contemporary author that is definitely worthwhile.

4. tyrosine - December 27, 2009

Pretty funny not liking popular authors, except Dan Brown. That’s like detesting popular music except for Miley Cyrus.
Give Grisham a try. He’s an ex-lawyer who writes law stories and is actually pretty good. Much better writer than Brown.

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