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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Unclear on the concept

In the literary world, it's not unusual to find that someone has put together a list of favorites, or classics, or "must reads." It's also not unusual to find that not everyone agrees with said list.

Time published a list of "The 100 Best English-language Novels." Then someone named Matthew Baldwin looked at Amazon.com, and compiled a list of his own: one-star reviews of a number of the books.

Examples:

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
Author: C.S. Lewis
“I bought these books to have something nice to read to my grandkids. I had to stop, however, because the books are nothing more than advertisements for “Turkish Delight,” a candy popular in the U.K. The whole point of buying books for my grandkids was to give them a break from advertising, and here (throughout) are ads for this “Turkish Delight”! How much money is this Mr. Lewis getting from the Cadbury’s chocolate company anyway? This man must be laughing to the bank.”

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962)
Author: Ken Kesey
“I guess if you were interested in crazy people this is the book for you.”

Mrs. Dalloway (1925)

Author: Virginia Woolf
“The only good thing to say about this “literary” drivel is that the person responsible, Virginia Woolf, has been dead for quite some time now. Let us pray to God she stays that way.”

You can find the whole article here. Props to Jason for my laugh of the day.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Mark J. said...

Oy.

January 14, 2006 9:30 AM  

Anonymous Mary Beth said...

My youth group read LWW once, and the dad of one of our members went to UK and brought back Turkish Delight to the group!

Guess what! We DID NOT LIKE IT! Somehow I'd thought from the book that it would be the most amazing sweet in the world, but to our American palates it was not tasty at all. I'm trying to think how to even describe it....sort of like a jelly-egg...I can't think of anything that really is close here.

You never saw such a group of crestfallen little girls as that day!

Of course, had WE met the White Witch in the forest, she'd have known EXACTLY what to tempt each of us with...Edmund **asked for** the Turkish Delight. Me, I want a Godiva bar with almonds & toffee in it. :)

January 16, 2006 7:00 AM  

Blogger Jane Ellen+ said...

Mary Beth: Some things just don't translate, do they?

I'd be with you on the chocolate, though-- and I'm not convinced that was not part of the fruit Adam and Eve were not supposed to eat, too!

January 16, 2006 7:33 AM  

Blogger cheesehead said...

I went to the site, which was a hoot. I don't always agree with those "Top 100________ of all time" lists, either, but for criminy's sake, some things are classics just because they are! For example "Citizen Kane" is a really looong movie about a sled, but in it's day it was postively ground-breaking in terms of the available cinematic technology. The same thing goes with many literary classics.

January 16, 2006 9:31 AM  

Blogger G. Brooke said...

Here was one favorite of mine:
"I am obsessed with Survivor, so I thought [Lord of the Flies] would be fun. WRONG!!!"

This one still has me holding my head in pain. On To Kill a Mockingbird:
"I find no point in writing a book about segregation." What the...?

January 18, 2006 8:51 AM  

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