Authors you will never read

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A negative thread.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 16:24 (one month ago) link

I thought of it while reading this (good) review.

https://www.newyorker.com/books/under-review/kate-zambrenos-present-tense

Ben Lerner and Kate Zambreno.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 16:25 (one month ago) link

I've read him but I try to avoid Nabokov.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 16:25 (one month ago) link

Ayn Rand
Nicholas Sparks

A White, White Gay (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 16:27 (one month ago) link

Dave Eggers

À la recherche du scamps perdu (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 16:39 (one month ago) link

J.K. Rowling

Sonny Shamrock (Tom D.), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 16:42 (one month ago) link

At this point in my reading life I presume I will never read Steven King or John Grisham, despite each having reputations as decent authors. If they've never tempted me up until now, I think I'd have to be imprisoned with only their books as reading material before I'd start one.

In a more literary vein: John Updike and Joyce Carol Oates.

Not to forget Jean Auel, who wrote a wildly popular series of best selling novels about the adventures of a paleolithic heroine, most notably Clan of the Cave Bear. My mother was an enthusiast and tried to graft her enthusiasm onto me. I lasted about four paragraphs. To my ear her prose was as grating as a dental drill.

the unappreciated charisma of cows (Aimless), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 16:52 (one month ago) link

weirdly, grisham and king are both authors i've met. grisham is the nicer guy of the two but king is also nice, just aloof.

treeship., Wednesday, 5 August 2020 16:55 (one month ago) link

i am going to read every author before i die.

treeship., Wednesday, 5 August 2020 16:55 (one month ago) link

Ben Lerner

You're missing out.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 16:57 (one month ago) link

J.K. Rowling

Very much so, yes.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 16:58 (one month ago) link

Jonathan Franzen

pomenitul, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 16:59 (one month ago) link

i didn't even see the lerner comment. he's very worth reading. the most recent two novels were flawed but in ways that were instructive. he writes about literature--and language--in a way that is worth grappling with

treeship., Wednesday, 5 August 2020 16:59 (one month ago) link

he writes about literature--and language--in a way that is worth grappling with

Yeah, this is the crux of it. The Hatred of Poetry is one of the pithiest encapsulations I've read of why no one pays attention to poets, especially those of the living variety.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 17:00 (one month ago) link

I mean, most authors, probably.

But yeah, fuck JK Rowling - I doubt I would have read her before, but I'm sure as fuck not reading her now.

emil.y, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 17:02 (one month ago) link

Donna Tartt

pomenitul, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 17:02 (one month ago) link

donna tartt is good though

treeship., Wednesday, 5 August 2020 17:03 (one month ago) link

Leïla Slimani

pomenitul, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 17:03 (one month ago) link

Basically, all authors whose writerly expertise is limited to psychosociological explorations of upper middle-class specimens and most authors who are utterly uninterested in the formalist challenges posed by modernism and its precipitates to this day.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 17:11 (one month ago) link

Most authors, of course, but this is ppl you come across enough times, like its on your radar...but the answer is just a flat no.

Yes to Dave Eggers, Franzen, Updike, Oates and Rowling lol (although I would like to read more children's books when I am older)

Ian McEwan
Martin Amis
Angela Carter
Deborah Levy

LOL a ton of LRB/NYRB people's fiction. Most of it is because I don't particularly care for what they write

John Lanchester
Colm Toibin
Andrew O'Hagan
Adam Mars-Jones
Tim Parks
Adam Thirwell
Jenny Diski (I like her essays but I reckon she doesn't have fiction in her)
Lauren Oyler (same as above, even before she publishes anything)
Lorrie Moore (aka the Sally Rooney discourse)

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 17:15 (one month ago) link

every Tartt novel could be more tarttly written.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 17:16 (one month ago) link

Also: novelists that have been dissed by Gabriel Josipovici.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 17:19 (one month ago) link

Btw there's some overlap between this thread and

People You Suspect Are Frighteningly Overrated But Don't Actually Know Enough About To Say So

pomenitul, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 17:21 (one month ago) link

I somehow doubt that I'm ever going to get to Norman Mailer.

jmm, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 17:38 (one month ago) link

David baldacci
Dan brown

brimstead, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 17:52 (one month ago) link

Philip Roth

Lily Dale, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 17:52 (one month ago) link

The one novelist whose work everyone reads, and cites, and praises, and always sounds tedious, self-obsessed, and offensive, and which I have so far managed never to read, is ...

Philip Roth.

So I like to think of it as a lifelong ambition to maintain this record, but not sure I'll manage it.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 17:55 (one month ago) link

Remarkable simultaneous posting with Lily Dale! :D

the pinefox, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 17:55 (one month ago) link

I have wondered a few times lately how The Human Stain reads in 2020...very poorly I would guess

rob, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 18:02 (one month ago) link

ill let you know im thinking of reading the human stain soon-ish

johnny crunch, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 18:03 (one month ago) link

have you read other Roth? If nothing else, I certainly wouldn't start with that one.

Do we have a "Authors you regret reading" thread? (I'm not thinking of Roth btw)

rob, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 18:07 (one month ago) link

Do we have a "Authors you regret reading" thread?

Not that I know of, but I had the same thought.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 18:08 (one month ago) link

yea ive read lotsa roth xp

johnny crunch, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 18:10 (one month ago) link

william luther pierce
lew wallace

Kate (rushomancy), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 18:14 (one month ago) link

I read loads of Amis as a teen, and will never find reason to read any more, and wish I'd spent the time reading something else.

emil.y, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 18:24 (one month ago) link

pomenitul will appreciate that I read The Orenda literally about a week before the scandal broke as a first step to learning more about indigenous literature

rob, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 18:55 (one month ago) link

Je est un autre is evergreen for a reason.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 18:58 (one month ago) link

Ian McEwan. I hate English novelists almost as much as I hate English comedians. Some of the dead ones are pretty good though.

Sonny Shamrock (Tom D.), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 19:13 (one month ago) link

I like Tom McCarthy.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 19:14 (one month ago) link

He's probably got some Irish in him, that would explain it.

Sonny Shamrock (Tom D.), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 19:17 (one month ago) link

Good thread, but I haven't been able to read in recent times so I recuse myself.

Time Will Show Leo Weiser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 19:17 (one month ago) link

Lee Rourke’s another good’un.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 19:18 (one month ago) link

See my previous post.

Sonny Shamrock (Tom D.), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 19:20 (one month ago) link

I know, ‘twas on purpose.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 19:21 (one month ago) link

I trudged through 70-odd pages of Embassytown so technically he doesn’t count but: China Miéville.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 19:25 (one month ago) link

When I read Updike, I needed a deep cleaning.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 19:29 (one month ago) link

i'm probably never going to read cormac mccarthy at this point

Give me a Chad Smith-type feel (map), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 19:32 (one month ago) link

Hitler

Rishi don’t lose my voucher (wins), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 19:34 (one month ago) link

Bridget Hitler’s Diary

Rishi don’t lose my voucher (wins), Wednesday, 5 August 2020 19:43 (one month ago) link

Huh, maybe I will read Bradbury again.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Saturday, 29 August 2020 17:53 (three weeks ago) link


Bradbury is easy to make fun of and his authorial persona is maybe some kind of a less pervy or more oblivious Asimov but his best stuff as others have noted, seems to really hold up. And his cousin Malcom doesn't get enough love around here.

― Two Little Hit Parades (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, August 29, 2020 1:09 PM (one hour ago) bookmarkflaglink

"Ray! Ray! It's Malcolm! Your cousin, Malcolm Bradbury? You know that new sound you were looking for? Well listen to this!"

peace, man, Saturday, 29 August 2020 18:20 (three weeks ago) link

I think "There Will Come Soft Rains" is great simply because it predicts "smart home" bullshit and places it in the context of world-destroying nuclear war. Really intelligent and interesting writing.

healthy cocaine off perfect butts (the table is the table), Saturday, 29 August 2020 18:27 (three weeks ago) link

Lol, peace, man.

Two Little Hit Parades (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 29 August 2020 19:10 (three weeks ago) link

(Looking at Amazon for a paperback copy of the Bradbury short story collections for possible Christmas present and it's out of print and going for 75 quid)

koogs, Saturday, 29 August 2020 22:04 (three weeks ago) link

In a 1994 interview, Bradbury stated that Fahrenheit 451 was more relevant during this time than in any other, stating that, "it works even better because we have political correctness now. Political correctness is the real enemy these days. The black groups want to control our thinking and you can't say certain things. The homosexual groups don’t want you to criticize them. It's thought control and freedom of speech control."

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Wednesday, 2 September 2020 09:58 (three weeks ago) link

No surprise given his folksy 1950sness, but still.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Wednesday, 2 September 2020 10:02 (three weeks ago) link

Tom Sharpe was a guilty pleasure for me as a Raymond Carver reading teenager in the 80s, and I've always thought Pratchett's books would have simlar vibe, but with added fantasy, so doubly off-putting.

fetter, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 10:36 (three weeks ago) link

xp: Well, that's depressing!

peace, man, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 10:47 (three weeks ago) link

Pratchett's not a leering douchebag, though.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Wednesday, 2 September 2020 11:50 (three weeks ago) link

tom sharpe has always belonged in this thread

mark s, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 12:01 (three weeks ago) link

as does bruce dickinson

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/A1eW2U9v8GL.jpg

mark s, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 12:02 (three weeks ago) link

Emily Gould

Yes, x1000.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 12:42 (three weeks ago) link

Atwood is good not bad, I appreciated her speaking up against TERFS. I really wasn’t that into The Testaments, though, which was terrible as the original Handmaid’s Tale is a masterpiece.

scampo italiano (gyac), Saturday, 12 September 2020 11:14 (one week ago) link

Yeah that was good, though the stuff on bots is terrible, and I'm allergic to most dystopias these days.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 12 September 2020 11:24 (one week ago) link

that = speaking up for trans rights

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 12 September 2020 11:26 (one week ago) link

Hemingway and Miranda July both firmly on my must not read list

hoos springsteen (qiqing), Saturday, 12 September 2020 20:30 (one week ago) link

Stay away from Atwood's frankenfood lectures called the maddaddam trilogy, as well as her comics. Otherwise she's written some good stuff.

tao lin, knausgard, osha, hitler

wasdnous (abanana), Sunday, 13 September 2020 01:44 (one week ago) link

yeah, nothing about tao lin or knausgaard sounds appealing or interesting to me at all

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Sunday, 13 September 2020 03:19 (one week ago) link

xp I read and liked Oryx and Crake earlier this year - it was pleasingly weird and disturbing and I then bought The Year off the Flood but haven’t read it yet.

scampo italiano (gyac), Sunday, 13 September 2020 10:16 (one week ago) link

I would just humbly submit that people not become confused between Tao Lin and Tan Lin. The latter is one of best writers in the US afaic

healthy cocaine off perfect butts (the table is the table), Sunday, 13 September 2020 11:41 (one week ago) link

Fuck

So JK Rowling’s latest Cormoran Strike book (which is 900 pages long! WTF!) is apparently about a trans serial killer. I think we all knew this was coming, though I personally thought that lead times would put this plotline off until book 6.

— Abigail Nussbaum (@NussbaumAbigail) September 14, 2020

xyzzzz__, Monday, 14 September 2020 19:13 (one week ago) link

ffs

pomenitul, Monday, 14 September 2020 19:14 (one week ago) link

The thread (just reading it now) is an interesting discussion of Silence of the Lambs!

xyzzzz__, Monday, 14 September 2020 19:20 (one week ago) link

it's good and i think gets the flaws in SofL right, except maybe for the authority issue? which is maybe somewhat um *complicated* by the fact that harris's deepest well of authority eats ppl he dislikes

*(a book i also have a lot of time for)

mark s, Monday, 14 September 2020 19:52 (one week ago) link

Even if this was translated I think it will be difficult to find the time with multiple novel cycles :-(

Damion Searls told me about a book he wants to translate: "The Office" by J.J. Voskuil (7 vols, 5500 pages — triple Anniversaries, twice Proust, half-again Knausgaard), about 30 years of a man's life working at a Bureau for Dialectology, Folklore and Onomastics.

— Dustin Illingworth (@ddillingworth) September 13, 2020

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 09:08 (one week ago) link

I may read Silence of the Lambs, however (only saw the film once but it possibly obscures a ton from that book?)

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 09:10 (one week ago) link

Film is pretty faithful to book iirc but book does a lot of getting inside the killer’s head and the film obviously doesn’t do much of a job of that. Book definitely more sympathetic but then the film was always controversial so not hard.

scampo italiano (gyac), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 09:24 (one week ago) link

Demme, being an ex-Corman alumni, dials up the 'horror' aspects of SOTL a bit in terms of performance and (especially) the sets - whereas Lecter's cell in the Michael Mann version of Manhunter is all antiseptic white, in SOTL it's a shitty brown dungeon.

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 09:40 (one week ago) link

Demme's sensibility is a lot closer to Harris's than Mann's though

Number None, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 09:54 (one week ago) link

mann's launched will graham into the csi-o-sphere

also lecter is called lecktor for some reason

mark s, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 09:58 (one week ago) link

ONLY good thing about Manhunter is the good Brian Cox

how do i shot moon? (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 10:03 (one week ago) link

The bit where In-a-Gadda-da-Vida is playing is so bad my toes have still not uncurled since 198whenever

how do i shot moon? (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 10:04 (one week ago) link

https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v03/n22/martin-amis/football-mad

(it's from 1981, just email boosted in their "diverted traffic" series of unlocked pieces from the past)

mark s, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 11:33 (one week ago) link

ONLY good thing about Manhunter is the good Brian Cox

lies

in any movie or tv show featuring william peterson there is also the good thing of keeping an eye out for his incredibly bandy legs

you are like a scampicane, there's calm in your fries (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 13:05 (one week ago) link

both red dragon (the book) and manhunter (the movie) are good

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 14:14 (one week ago) link

Voskuil's magnum opus deserves to be translated into English. It's a lot but a lot of it is great.

Monte Scampino (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 14:51 (one week ago) link

LBI delivering as usual

imago, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 14:53 (one week ago) link

lol <3

Monte Scampino (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 15:00 (one week ago) link

Amazed it hasn't been translated tbf. Dibs on an abridged Bildts version!

Monte Scampino (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 15:02 (one week ago) link

I'd like to know more! What's the experience of reading it?

imago, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 15:08 (one week ago) link

Amazed it hasn't been translated tbf. Dibs on an abridged Bildts version!

― Monte Scampino (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 bookmarkflaglink

It's longer than Proust, but yeah a volume would be good. Looking at this overview and his debut sounds good.

http://www.letterenfonds.nl/en/author/194/jj-voskuil

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 15:40 (one week ago) link

Amazed it hasn't been translated tbf. Dibs on an abridged Bildts version!

― Monte Scampino (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 bookmarkflaglink

It's longer than Proust, but yeah a volume would be good. Looking at this overview and his debut sounds good.

http://www.letterenfonds.nl/en/author/194/jj-voskuil🕸

No mean feat. DaBaby (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 15:57 (one week ago) link

apologies for that, office life is getting to me it seems.

No mean feat. DaBaby (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 16:05 (one week ago) link

🚨Giveaway alert🚨 We have two proofs of Jon Fosse's I IS ANOTHER (tr. Damion Searls) to give away. Reply to this tweet with your favourite notable doppelgangers or twins and be entered to win a proof. Giveaway ends tonight at 6 PM BST. pic.twitter.com/kGvtndJRDa

— Fitzcarraldo Editions (@FitzcarraldoEds) September 15, 2020

This series of books by Jon Fosse. Nothing I've read about it strikes me as something I'd like. Sounds like a post-Knausgaard cash-in tbh.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 18 September 2020 09:51 (six days ago) link

Someone told me everything I have said about mental health is meaningless because it doesn’t continually address the class struggle. And I am thinking back to when I nearly fell to my death and genuinely believe a treatise on structural inequality would have been a bit too heavy.

— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) September 20, 2020

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 20 September 2020 14:58 (four days ago) link

wanker

how do i shot moon? (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 20 September 2020 15:36 (four days ago) link


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